Filtering by Tag: self help

“You thrive in all ways when you come into Energy Balance with you.”

You thrive in all ways when you come into Energy Balance with you.
— Abraham Hicks

Daylight Saving means longer days and Spring is coming. Many people will begin “spring cleaning” by physically clearing out their living spaces, which is a great idea, but what about also clearing out the negative and stale energy in our body?

Everything in life is made up of energy. When people talk about “auras,” they are referring to the invisible etheric field our physical body is a part of. This field is made up of pathways called meridians or nadi lines, where energy flows in and out of. The points where these meridians intersect are called marma points. These energy lines and marma points are used in several holistic medicines including acupuncture and reiki. In the Tantric Yoga philosophy, the three most important of these lines are Ida, Pingala, and Sushumna. The points where these three lines intersect are the seven chakras.  

There are many ways we can balance our chakras: using intention with crystals, using essential oils and incense, holding specific yoga poses, vocalizing/singing, and meditation. Below is a basic breakdown of the seven chakras followed by a simple meditation you can practice to help balance them.

First Chakra: Root Chakra (Muladhara) is located at the base of the spine right below the pelvic floor. Red is the color associated with this chakra. When the chakra is balanced we feel self-motivated, abundant, connected to the earth, grounded/strong foundation, connected to our tribe/community. It is commonly blocked by fear.

Second Chakra: Naval Chakra (Svadisthana) is located below your belly button in your low belly area. Orange is the color associated with this chakra. When the chakra is balanced we feel creative, in touch with our feelings, connected to our identity, sensuality, and sexuality. It is commonly blocked by guilt.

Third Chakra: Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura) is located above your belly button below your ribs. Yellow is the color associated with this chakra. When the chakra is balanced we feel confident, have mental clarity, and feel strong in our personal power. It is commonly blocked by shame.

Fourth Chakra: Heart Chakra (Anahata) is located in the center of your chest. Green is the color associated with this chakra. When the chakra is balanced we have acceptance of oneself, the ability to forgive, and compassion/love for others and ourselves. It is commonly blocked by grief.

Fifth Chakra: Throat Chakra (Visuddha) is located around the neck, ears, and nose. Blue is the color associated with this chakra. When the chakra is balanced we truthfully express ourselves/our beliefs, we have loyalty and the ability to trust, we feel organized and heard. It is commonly blocked by lies.

Sixth Chakra: Third Eye Chakra (Ajna) is located on the forehead between the eyes. Indigo is the color associated with this chakra. When the chakra is balance we trust our intuition and insights, release hidden and repressed negative thoughts, and become more self-realized. It is commonly blocked by illusion.

Seventh Chakra: Crown Chakra (Sahasrara) is located right outside the body on the top of the head. Violet is the color associated with this chakra. When the chakra is balanced we have a strong spirituality, we trust and are connected to the universe or higher power, we are integrating our consciousness and subconsciousness into the superconcsciousness. It is commonly blocked by ego attachment.

 

To begin working with the chakras, try this simple mediation. Sitting in a comfortable position, close your eyes and observe your breath. Begin to lengthen your inhales and exhales. After a few cycles, visualize a flame on the screen of your mind. It is easier to visualize a bigger, moving flame than a smaller, stagnant flame. Once you have a clear visual of the flame, move the flame to the top of your head (seventh chakra) and surround the flame with the associated chakra color. Take several breath cycles for each chakra as you move the flame down until you finish at the root (first chakra). Some chakras may be easier to visualize than others. If this happens you can begin to explore light movement in that area of the body. Remember meditation and visualization is a practice; the more you engage in the practice, the more powerful the benefits.

 

Do you need help clearing the clutter both physically and energetically? I would love to guide you and support you in your journey! Email me at steph_e_simpson@yahoo.com to set up your FREE 30 min discovery call and to hear more about packages.

“An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means that it’s going to launch you into something great. So just focus, and keep aiming.”

An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means that it’s going to launch you into something great. So just focus, and keep aiming.

I first heard this quote a few years ago while taking a yoga class. The teacher was leading us through a beautiful vinyasa flow class and used this quote while we were in warrior II so we could visualize something we wanted to release or manifest in our lives as we pulled back our imaginary bow and launched it into the universe. I found this physical, visual, and meditative sequence to be so empowering. We came back to it a few times throughout the class and each time I loved it even more.

Many times throughout our journey, we feel we are taking steps backwards. No matter how hard we try, it just doesn’t seem like we are making any progress. Most of the time we are focusing on concrete changes or feedback to validate whether we are being successful in our goals: for example, being recognized for a job well done at work in the hopes of getting promoted or getting on the scale and seeing a lower number. When these things don’t happen we may begin to loose motivation.

However, change is a process and many times there are major shifts energetically and internally that need to happen before we see a physical manifestation. Just because a boss doesn’t verbally recognize you doesn’t mean she/he doesn’t appreciate your hard work and have more in store for you. Not losing pounds doesn’t mean that your body isn’t getting in better shape. Muscle weighs more than fat.

When working towards one of your goals, if you find you are losing motivation think of this quote. Use it as a mantra to help you stop the downward spiral and trigger you into thinking more positively. You can go even further by making the mantra physical. Warrior II is a pose that everyone can access (video tutorial). When you are in this pose, take your front hand and hold the imaginary bow in front of you. Visualize your goal or anything you feel is standing in your way. Then, take your back hand and pull the imaginary arrow back to your cheek and when you are ready, let it go. Do this sequence a few times on both sides. Remember to connect your breath to your movement.

The more we, “the arrow,” get pulled back the harder we fight against it. Persistence and hard work due pay off. Keep building your foundation, staying present in the work you are doing, fall back on your tools if necessary so that when that arrow finally launches you are fully ready to receive all that you deserve!

 

 

The New Year is a great time to get clear on our goals and make the changes we have always wanted to make. I would love to help and support you in your journey! Email me at steph_e_simpson@yahoo.com to set up your FREE 30 min discovery call.

 

“An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves. “

An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.
— Bill Vaughn

I always find it interesting (especially now with social media) that in the matter of a few days people’s posts go from pictures of family and friends, holiday decorations, words of love and encouragement to posts of desperation for the current year to end and proclamations for what has to be a better year to come. Why does this shift happen? Are we programmed to look back at things and only see the negative when an “end” is coming?

A few years ago when I was reading a lot about energy frequencies and the Law of Attraction, I began to think about New Year’s differently. I used to be one of those people who couldn’t wait to get rid of one year and truly believed the New Year would provide all that was lacking. However, it became clear to me that even though the ball dropping is a magical moment that I love watching, that ball doesn’t have the power to help me release my negative feelings and help me focus on positive ones. Only I was capable of doing that. If I truly wanted to step into the New Year and attract new opportunities, happiness, health, etc., I needed to leave the previous year radiating on a high/positive energy frequency. This meant I needed to make a major change in the way I viewed my life on a daily basis.

The easiest way to start shifting our mindset is gratitude. There are several ways to start a gratitude practice, which I have already highlighted in a previous post. However, there is one practice I started specifically in relation to New Year’s. Each year, I start with an empty mason jar and throughout the year I write on little note cards and post-it notes enjoyable moments. They range from vacations I went on to professional achievements to impromptu game nights with friends. On New Year’s Eve before celebrating, I read each moment and spread them out on my bed. It’s amazing the amount of things we forget even over one year, but truly incredible to be reminded of them. You can’t help but feel happy, full, thankful, and excited to continue to live this journey you have been given. This practice is so simple and easy to do on a daily basis, yet its payback is so great.

A new practice I am starting this year is to write myself a letter with the intentions I would like to set forth for the New Year. I am not a big fan of “resolutions” as I believe many times resolutions are just statements and not actual goals. This letter will serve as the basis for the goals I would like to set, but more importantly will be a private letter to myself reflecting on this past year and giving encouragement for the intentions I set for the New Year. I will then seal this letter and open it at the end of the year. Reflection is a useful tool in our journey and this letter will be a fun new way for me to do that.

I hope you all have a safe and happy New Year! I leave you with this link, which I hope helps to inspire your positive energy frequencies as you approach 2016.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/daves4/2015-was-okay

 

And don’t’ forget, I’m currently having a special on Intro Packages. I would love to help you get clear on your goals for 2016 and support you in your journey! Email me at steph_e_simpson@yahoo.com to set up your FREE 30 min guided meditation or discovery call and to hear more about the package.

 

“10 things to help you enjoy the holidays”

10 things to help you enjoy the holidays

1. Take time for yourself. This could be through guided meditation, visualization, journaling, or just sitting still. Taking 10 min a day for yourself can change your mindset and keep you balanced. 

2. Practice mindful listening. Being present in your conversations will make your time spent with family and friends more meaningful. 

3. Connect to your breath. Your breath is your life force. Breath exercises can help to relax, energize, and balance you. 

4. Redirect your negative thoughts. The holidays can be stressful at times and your negative self talk can start to take over causing a downward spiral. You can choose to stop the negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones.  

5. Be thankful. Gratitude is the greatest gift you can give yourself and those around you. There is always something to be thankful for. 

6. Stay hydrated. Drink a glass of water when you first wake up. Try to get to 8 glasses a day. You can always add lemon or cucumber to make it more exciting. 

7. Be active. During the holidays our routines are altered and we tend to be less physically active and more indulgent of the goodies around us. Take the time everyday to stretch or do 20 min of cardio or yoga. Moving your body helps to clear the stale energy out. 

8. Rediscover your inner child. The holidays are a perfect time to connect with your inner child and remember that life is truly magical. Play a new game, laugh with friends and family, make something, etc. 

9. Be kind. Do something everyday that gives back to the community. Maybe it's small like helping someone with their bags or maybe you volunteer at a local shelter. 

10. Smile. Smiling will not only make you feel better but you never know when it will brighten up the day of someone around you as well. 

 

I’m currently having a special on Intro Packages. Treat yourself and start 2016 on a positive note! Email me at steph_e_simpson@yahoo.com to set up your FREE 30 min guided meditation or discovery call and to hear more about the package.

“The wind does not blow to make trees dance, but to test their roots.”

The wind does not blow to make trees dance, but to test their roots.

This past semester in both my dance and yoga classes, I have been emphasizing the important relationship between stability and flexibility. Some students have an amazing capacity when it comes to flexibility. They can fold themselves and lift their legs in ways I only dream about. However, it is important that they also build up the musculature needed to support them. Other students have such strength in their ability to hold a balance or yoga pose for a lengthy amount of time. However, it is important that they also take the time to stretch themselves so they can go deeper in their technique/practice.

The balance between stability and flexibility not only serves us in our physical practice, but also our mental and emotional practice. Having a strong foundation provides us stability so that we can become more flexible in other areas of our life. For example, a person with a daily meditation practice is creating a resilient internal foundation that will help them when dealing with adversity. Being able to adapt to change, or be flexible, allows us to approach new situations with an open mind. We can use what we learn from each situation as a way to continue shaping the person we want to be, a process that is never ending.

However, being too rigid or too flexible can be detrimental. It becomes debilitating when we are so stuck in our routine that the slightest change throws our day off. Likewise, it is unhealthy if we spread ourselves too thin or we are always accommodating to other people’s needs. Knowing when to stay grounded and say “no” allows us to be more resilient and durable. I like to visualize the image of tree blowing in the wind. Even when the wind is forceful, the tree does not crack and break. Instead, its roots provide stability so that the branches can move freely.

Through self reflection, we can determine whether we tend to be more of a rigid person or more of an accommodating person. If you find you are more rigid, maybe you change one little thing in your routine a day. Or maybe each month you set a goal to try something new and completely out of your comfort zone, challenging you to let go a little more. If you find you are too flexible, maybe you set up a daily mindfulness practice to help ground yourself. Or maybe you take the time to prioritize the things in your life and commit yourself to supporting these priorities. Finding and maintaining a balance of both qualities is ideal in a healthy and fulfilled life.

 

Need more guidance in finding your balance? Email me at steph_e_simpson@yahoo.com to set up your FREE 30 min guided meditation or discovery call!

“Visualization is daydreaming with a purpose.”

Visualization is daydreaming with a purpose.
— Bo Bennett

As a child, I used to pass the time during church or when I was bored in class mentally running through the various dances I was learning at my studio or rehearsing for a show. Sometimes, I would even fantasize what my life would look like living in NYC and being immersed in the hustle and bustle of the musical theatre world. In high school, when I was stressed or overwhelmed and had trouble falling asleep I would close my eyes and imagine each muscle of my body relax starting at my head and ending at my toes. Little did I know at the time, but what I was doing in each of these situations was building a foundation for a practice that continues to change my life on a daily basis.

Last week, I talked about making a plan using proper goal setting techniques in order to make the changes we want in our lives. This week I would like to offer a very powerful technique to help throughout the process, visualization. Visualization is a cognitive process where one uses mental imagery to simulate or recreate visual perception. Visualization can help improve self-confidence, manage pain and stress, acquire new skills, and manifest changes in our lives. Like everything else, visualization is a practice. It may come easier to some than others, but the good thing is that through repetition we can become more skilled in it.  

When teaching visualization, the first thing I talk about is being able to close your eyes and practice seeing vivid and clear images. Think of the five senses (see, hear, touch, taste, and smell) as a starting point. Be as detailed as you can when visualizing the images or the scenario. Next, implement your mental and emotional feelings into the visualization. This allows the visualization to penetrate and connect the body, mind, and spirit. Finally, make sure that you are controlling your mind by not allowing outside thoughts to distract you or negative thoughts to creep in.

For the next week, try to visualize once a day. Set a timer for 3 minutes and close your eyes. Start by noticing your breath and lengthening your inhales and exhales. Then, begin to imagine a place you know well, your bedroom, office, etc. See that place in as much detail as you can using the five senses as your guide. It may be difficult at first to complete the 3 minutes without outside thoughts coming in, but go until the timer goes off. If you find 3 minutes is becoming easy, extend the time and start to zoom into specific areas of the room so you can get even more detailed in the picture you are creating. Keeping a visualization log reflecting on each session will be helpful in observing your progress. In the log, write down if outside or negative thoughts crept into the mind, whether you were able to access all five senses, and how specific you could get when zooming in.

Once we have the foundational skills for a strong visualization practice, we can use it in all areas of our life. Next week, I will go into more specific ways to use visualization. For example: how to use visualization when preparing for an audition, interview, or big presentation; and how visualization can be combined with trigger words to help with stress and anxiety.

 

Are you ready to manifest the changes you want in your life? I'd love to help you! Email me at steph_e_simpson@yahoo.com to set up your FREE 30 min guided meditation or discovery call!

 

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
— Lao Tzu

This past weekend I had the privilege of watching a few friends run the NYC Marathon. To be honest, it was my first experience watching at marathon in general. I never understood the purpose of going just to watch. However, within 5 minutes of standing in the first location I went to I was in tears. I was overwhelmed with the determination and perseverance of each runner and the amount of support and positivity each spectator was giving out. It was amazing to see people genuinely cheering on runners they didn’t even know at all. When talking to one of my friends who ran the marathon the next day, she tried to articulate the feelings she had throughout. She, too, was overwhelmed by the support from friends, strangers, and fellow runners. During the miles where she felt she might not be able to do it, it was this support that helped her through it.

It’s obvious that running a marathon not only takes a lot of physical preparation, but also a huge amount of mental training as well. If a runner goes into the process only focusing on the 26.2 miles that can become daunting and seemingly impossible. They need to set up a training program that takes them step by step and mile by mile over a period of time. If they stick to this plan, chances are they will reach the finish.

The same goes for manifesting the changes we want to see in our lives. Proper goal setting is the key to seeing our dreams become realities. When working with clients, I guide them in creating a plan made up of SMART goals.

          S – specific

          M – measurable

                                A – attainable

                  R – realistic

                  T – time sensitive

We begin by creating a macro-goal, a larger goal to be achieved over a period of time. Next, I have them list all the things they need to achieve this goal. This could include learning a new skill or an increase in finances. One thing everyone always needs is support. Even if we are extremely independent, it is crucial to have a support system to help you through those rough patches. The support can come in a variety of forms, whether that is a coach that is there to hold you accountable and help you to strategically work through obstacles or family and friends that are there to love you unconditionally.  Then, I have them list all the possible obstacles and distractions. By recognizing the problems we may encounter, we can then make a plan to overcome them. Many times these obstacles are not physical, but are actually rooted in mental and emotional blockages. Finally, I guide them into making medium size goals and then micro, or small, goals for each of the medium goals. When that is done, we now have a step by step plan, similar to the marathon training program, to achieve that long term goal. The impossible just became possible!  

 

Are you ready to manifest the changes you want in your life? I'd love to help you! Email me at steph_e_simpson@yahoo.com to set up your FREE 30 min discovery call!

“We are only as strong as the foundation we build.”

We are only as strong as the foundation we build.

I found myself saying this many times this week in a variety of situations. First, in a workshop proposal for a women’s leadership conference focusing on success, then when I was teaching yoga to my faculty class and was stressing the importance of proper alignment, and finally when mentoring some of my young adult clients on decision making. So what is our foundation, how do we build it, and how can it help us?

YOU are the foundation for the life you are building. The stronger your foundation, the better you are at making decisions, dealing with adversity, and living a fuller, more successful life. Through observing that which serves and does not serve us, we can lead a more authentic life. There are so many outside ideas and opinions of what we should be doing or thinking, but we need to take the time to figure out what of those things actually align with our authentic selves. It is ok to question and decide to make new rules for yourself. Figuring out what makes you feel alive and what you are passionate about makes you more confident and proud to be who you are. Knowing these things will help you to create a practice that maintains and supports your foundation through using your positive self talk techniques and engaging in activities that continue to fuel your energy not drain you.

After reading an article in Psychology Today about anxiety in college students and working with my private young adult clients, I realized the universal need to teach coping skills. Unfortunately, there is an epidemic in our society, which goes beyond just our youth, to turn to unhealthy vices as a quick fix to help us feel better, to deal with stress and anxiety, and sometimes to feel that we belong. Drugs and alcohol are the most common of these vices, but we cannot forget over eating, smoking, etc. These vices provide us a quick pleasurable experience, which we mistake as happiness. The more we pursue this “happiness” we begin to create bad habits that can stick with us for a while. Having a strong foundation helps us to turn away from these vices and instead find ways to release the stress that help us to create good habits that will continue to serve us throughout our life.

One of the techniques I have begun to use with my clients is having them list the things that give them a “natural high” and make them feel empowered. Acknowledging the places and things that feed our authentic selves can help us in the areas where we struggle. For example, I may not be an active musical theatre performer anymore but I still remember what it feels like to be on stage and the joy it gave me throughout my life. When I am feeling down, stressed, or overwhelmed, I turn to musical theatre to “cope.” I’ll put my headphones in and listen to “One Day More” from Les Miserables and let the chords vibrate through my entire body changing my energy frequency. Sometimes, I’ll go into my room and belt out “Someone Like You” from Jekyll & Hyde giving me that instant gratification and allowing me to “let off some steam.”

What in you life makes you feel empowered and gives you that natural high? Maybe it’s physical, like playing a sport or doing yoga or building something? Maybe it’s more mental, like doing a crossword puzzle? Or maybe it’s more creative, like writing a poem or painting? The next time you feel stressed or overwhelmed and want to reach for that chocolate bar or glass of wine try to do one of the things you just wrote down and see how you feel after that.

 

Are you ready to build your foundation and lead a more fulfilled life? I'd love to help you! Email me at steph_e_simpson@yahoo.com to set up your FREE 30 min discovery call!

 

“Teach your mind to listen to what your body and spirit are saying.”

Teach your mind to listen to what your body and spirit are saying.

Well it happened again…I was feeling overwhelmed and a little anxious at the beginning of the week. When I walked into morning yoga on Tuesday, there it was playing again, Ingrid Michaelson’s “Keep Breathing.” I smiled, laughed to myself, unrolled my mat, and listened.  The teacher started class by telling a quick story about getting her hair done and talking to the hairdresser that was in-training. He had taken years to follow his passion of becoming a hairdresser because a voice in his head kept telling him, “the world doesn’t need another gay hairdresser.” Finally, he decided enough was enough. He silenced the voice and followed his dream.

Many of us can relate to this story, myself included. The message the Universe was sending me that Tuesday morning was clear…don’t let the negative self talk stop you because you don’t think what you offer is needed. There is always a need for you to pursue your passion and be true to yourself. We all have gifts and they should be honored and shared.

This week’s focus is on trigger words and it is clear that “keep breathing” is my newest trigger word. Trigger words can be a single word or phrase that initiates a process or course of action. I’d like to go even further and say they can also be an object like a bracelet or necklace. Trigger words (or objects) can be used for negative thought stopping, as reminders to step back and re-focus, and to provide quick information when executing a skill.

One of the most common trigger words for negative thought stopping is stop. However, when working with clients I like them to come up with words that hold more personal meaning. Maybe they have a practice to help with relaxation where they visualize themselves lying on the beach listening to the waves crash and then the words “beach” or “waves” become trigger words for them when they are anxious. When I am teaching movement classes, I use trigger words all the time to remind my students of proper technique. Some of my favorites are “headlights” when referring to correct hip alignment and “flip flop” when referring to weight placement in releve.

Try coming up with your own trigger words. Begin with just a couple and commit to using them for a week. You will find that using these words in addition to the other tools we have discussed will help shift your mindset quicker than you think!

Are you ready to say no to your inner critic and follow your dreams and passion? I'd love to help you! Email me at steph_e_simpson@yahoo.com to set up your FREE 30 min complimentary coaching call!

 

"Breathe, just breathe..."

Breathe, just breathe…

After a long day of meetings and feeling very overwhelmed, I put my iPod on shuffle (yes my iPod classic because I'm old school) and the first song that came up was T Swift's "Breathe" followed by Ingrid Michaelson’s "Keep Breathing" and then Journeys’ "Don't Stop Believin'.” Coincidence? I think not. It was the universe reminding me that everything is going to be OK. All you have to do is breathe, do the best you can, and trust in the process. We don't need to have or know all the answers (I know easier said than done). Our job is to keep breathing, be present, honor our true self, and enjoy the journey.

Last week, I introduced the concept of self talk and its importance in building our confidence through positive thoughts. I discussed how negative thoughts can lead to a downward spiral. For the next few weeks, I would like to offer you some specific tools so that you can build a strong practice and train your mind to work for you, not against you.

The first is to create a personal litany. A litany is a group of positive statements one can say to themselves silently or out loud. They help to increase our self-confidence by utilizing positive self talk. The litany can be for a specific aspect of your life: career, love, personal, etc. For example, if you are trying to change to a healthier lifestyle you may have ones like, “I am taking action to create healthy habits,” or “I know there will be days where I struggle, but it is ok because I am strong and I know I can do this.”  The litany can also be more generic and incorporate all aspects of your life. For example, “I choose love over fear,” or “I know I may feel overwhelmed at times, but it is ok because I have the tools to work through it.” (I said this one to myself several times during that long day of meetings.)

Once you have created your litany, hang it up where you can see it everyday or maybe laminate it so you can carry it around and pull it out when needed. In order for this tool to work, you need to say it everyday, maybe several times a day, and make it a practice. The more we say these affirmations or mantras, the more we believe them, embody them, and the more powerful they become when we need them the most.  

Take the next few minutes and create a litany for yourself. Commit to saying it everyday for a week. Then check in and see how you feel. Write your observations down in the journal you started last week. These are just observations used for self reflection, not judgments.

Next week, I will offer another mental training tool so stay tuned!

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