Upgrade Your Body, Mind and Spirit in 2022

By Mark Pitstick MA, DC

Twelve steps to a happier, healthier, more productive you in the New Year.

Upgrading yourself in body, mind, and spirit can be quicker and easier than you think. I’ve made this journey and helped many people reach radiant wellness, and this two-part article can serve as a simple but powerful blueprint for you to do the same.

Why is it important to fine-tune yourself holistically? Here are just some of the reasons:

  • You are a timeless being of energy, light, and information who is visiting Earth to serve, have adventures, grow / evolve, and enjoy. However, it’s very difficult to remember and demonstrate this when you are chronically tired, anxious, depressed, ill, obese, or otherwise imbalanced. These and other symptoms are now very common in all age groups.
  • The underlying causes of these symptoms are well understood, and making the recommended changes described herein will begin improving the quality and likely quantity of your life.
  • You deserve to enjoy a heavenly level of living here and in the hereafter.
  • Being a positive change agent requires time, energy, and focus. The world needs your greatest gifts; you can best share those when you are truly well.
  • Healthy nervous and endocrine systems are very helpful in perceiving more of the greater reality—the totality of life. These systems are weak and stressed in many people so they can’t react to life with their full vitality and clarity. Just look around you.
  • Glimpsing more of the big picture of life helps answer vital questions so you can enjoy your earthly visit and do what you—as an infinite being—came here to do.

Steps to Progress

If you are ready to enjoy a much higher level of living, here are the 12 practices I recommend:

  1. Pray, intend, and/or affirm daily. Depending on your religious beliefs, you may talk to Source Energy/God/One Mind—whatever you call the creator and sustainer of all life. For those who see all life as One, this may be like talking with yourself and sending out healing and loving energies. Take a few minutes to do this before going to sleep, and whenever you need to remember you have everything needed to handle all life’s challenges with style
  • Meditate. If prayer is like talking with the All That Is, meditate is listening. I’ve meditated on most days for 45 years and consider it time gained, not lost.
  • Activity. Just three hours per week is required for stretching, aerobic exercise, and resistance training. Check out my book Radiant Wellness at SoulProof.com for a description of the stretches and different ways you can achieve aerobic and strength training. It doesn’t have to be a very difficult or long program, but it does need to be done on a regular basis.
  • Rest. Most people need about eight hours of sleep per night. The hours of rest before midnight are considered to be most restorative, so it’s best to fall asleep by at least 10:30 pm. most nights. When your body tells you it’s tired, get a nap or go to bed earlier that night. Rest is widely known to be one of the most important factors for feeling, looking, and being your very best. 
  • Decrease electronic stimulation. Excessive time on the computer, watching TV, and playing video games can become addictive. Your brain can get used to being stimulated by so much information, graphic images, loud music, and more. Then it craves more of the same. Parents, this is especially important for children; they don’t yet know what’s best for them; being a good parent now sets the stage for being dear friends later. 
  • Benefit from a holistic health care team. After 47 years of working in different healthcare settings, my recommendations include: specific spinal and cranial adjustments, acupuncture, nutritional healing (see below for more info), deep tissue massage, and an integrative medical doctor who understands and considers natural care as well as drug and surgical intervention.
  • Detoxify your body. Encountering excess chemicals and heavy metals is unavoidable. However, you can minimize exposure to these and regularly remove them from your system. Your brain and hormonal organs are especially vulnerable to these toxins. You also need to remove waste products, especially if you are not yet enjoying the real food way of eating. The best way I know to do this is the Standard Process Purification Program. (Standard Process.com) This 21-day program safely and powerfully detoxifies your liver, lymphatic system, bowel, and other eliminative organs. (Note: this and other whole food nutritional products are only supposed to be available through licensed healthcare professionals. They may be online but could be cheap and possibly harmful imitations.)
  • Use the Holistic Breathing Technique. This is the single most powerful way I know to release old wounds, fears, and emotional trauma. In addition, it stimulates the lymphatic system and deeply oxygenates your body. I’ve used it several hundred times over the past 20 years and have facilitated it with thousands of people in groups. To learn more, visit https://www.soulproof.com/////product/holistic-breathing/

  • Get a personalized nutritional healing evaluation. In short, this program removes bad things such as excess heavy metals, chemicals, microorganisms, etc., and provides good things such as targeted nutrients for the organs involved. Over time, the body can often heal itself of any named disease. In my experience in healthcare fields, this is the single most impressive healing approach I’ve seen. Do you and your loved ones a huge favor and use this now and throughout your earthly experience. To find a practitioner in your area, visit www.unsinc.info or www.icakusa.com.
  1. Ask Your Soul. Replicated scientific demonstrations have shown, as of 2019, that life continues after bodily death. This research has been directed by Dr. Gary Schwartz at the University of Arizona’s Laboratory for Advances in Consciousness and Health. Our names for what survives death include consciousness, energy, and information—also termed info-energy. In short, everything about a person appears to survive except the deceased outer shell. More religious names for this timeless essence of a person include soul or spirit, and that aspect of your being can provide much guidance.

I created a technique using deep relaxation/hypnosis and visual imagery to help people communicate with this inner wisdom. After quieting the mind, many people have been able to gather useful information about all aspects of their life: health, relationships, spiritual path, financial abundance, and more. There is also time allowed for a “fill in the blank” topic and build your awareness of “departed” loved ones who are likely very near. To learn more about this technique, visit https://www.soulproof.com/////product/ask-your-soul/

  1. Take maintenance whole food supplements. Many so-called nutritional supplements are:
    : created in a laboratory from non-food or poorly absorbable sources

—fractionated: contain a relatively few vitamins or minerals versus the hundreds of those and co-factors found in living food

—high-dosage: excessively high levels of nutrients that have never been taken from natural sources versus low doses available in real food

non-bioavailable: the body poorly absorbs and utilizes these supplements

These synthetic, fractionated, and high-dose supplements have been shown in university studies to create more illness and death than those who didn’t take any supplements at all. They are cheaper than whole food supplements—and for good reason. For example, some B vitamins are made from coal tar and calcium supplements from limestone. 

Decades ago, the topsoil was rich and contained many nutrients. Now it is usually nutrient deficient and the plants are sprayed with chemicals. Agribusiness practices are directly hurting the quality and quantity of life for you and your loved ones. That’s why it’s so important to follow the real food way of eating  and take maintenance whole food supplements (which we will cover in Part 2 of this article in February, 2022).

  1. Enjoy the real food way of eating. Stay tuned for the Healing Phase next month. By following this plan for 90 days, you will enjoy many benefits such as weight loss, improvement in lab values and increased energy. Your progress will be even more marked if you take whole food nutritional supplements. Then you can start the Maintenance Phase—eating very healthy most of the time but occasionally enjoying whatever you want. 

For some, this will be a big change so don’t feel like you have to change everything overnight. It’s best to prepare ahead so you can follow the healing phase strictly for 90 days beginning in February. If you can’t do that for some reason, make incremental changes; enjoy the boost in energy and feeling better, then make additional improvements. 

You deserve to feel happy, healthy, and energetic and the world needs your greatest gifts so just do it!

Mark Pitstick, MA, DC is an author, master’s clinical psychologist, holistic chiropractic physician, frequent media guest, and webinar/workshop facilitator. He directs The SoulPhone Foundation and founded Greater Reality Living Groups. Dr. Pitstick can help you know and show—no matter what is happening to or around you—that your earthly experience is a totally safe, meaningful, and magnificent adventure amidst forever. Visit http://www.SoulProof.com for free articles, newsletters and radio interviews with top consciousness experts.

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Who Needs Need, The Fifth Pathway

By Gregg Sanderson

“Two Roads diverged in a wood and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”—Robert Frost

There are few roads less traveled today than the Fifth Pathway from Ken Keyes’ Handbook to Higher Consciousness: I take full responsibility here and now for everything I experience, for it is my own programming that creates my actions and also influences the reactions of people around me.

The Fifth Pathway gives us good news and bad news:

The good news: I, and only I, have the power to determine how I experience any given situation.

The bad news: I, and only I, have the power to determine how I experience any given situation.

Please don’t equate responsibility with blame. We consider it as simply the ability to respond, and blame as the tool of the self-righteous when they try to avoid responsibility. The two are mutually exclusive.

Yet it appears that our society is all about blame. Take this scenario, from a jillion country songs: I saw you with somebody else. I got jealous, acted like a jerk, and I’m miserable without you.

In other words, “I have a mental picture of how you should be. You didn’t fit it and I got jealous. Now you left, I’m miserable, and it’s all your fault.”

Meanwhile, you were just being you.

I take full responsibility here and now for everything I experience…

What Responsibility would say is, “I have a mental picture of how you should be. You didn’t fit it, but I can change the picture to include you the way you are.

…For it is my own programming that creates my actions and also influences the reactions of people around me.”

If I change the picture I might not be jealous, and your reaction might be different.

Either way, you’re just being you.

The obvious question is, “How do I change those pictures?” One way is to bring your consciousness into harmony with the Twelve Pathways.

Many of the messages we get from society are about blaming. Mark Twain nailed it when he said, “Nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits.” How can anybody win with attitudes like that?

I believe the mental cause of most of the world’s troubles today is the need to be right, and the corollary, to make everybody else wrong. I sum it up in one of my yet-to-be-famous acronyms.

RAMBO: Righteousness Always Manages to Blame Others.

Like the fictional hero in a Western, self-righteousness shows up with guns a-blazing for any who dare question it. This is so in the world; this is so in society; and it’s so in interpersonal relationships.

Think of Christmastime, when relatives come to visit with their children, habits, and opinions. It’s often a rampage of righteousness, and a perfect chance to practice the fifth pathway…and all the others, too.

Did it bother you when I said “Christmas” instead of “holidays” above? Did you feel the need to correct me, or cancel your subscription? Congratulations! You just got your first opportunity to use the Fifth Pathway.

Whenever you have the urge to get even or project blame for your upset, it’s a signal that you have programming that you can change.

Some people carry self-righteousness to the extreme. They claim virtue when they blame people they don’t know for the suffering (real or imagined) of other people they don’t know.

Can you imagine anybody silly enough to do something like that?

Gregg Sanderson, one of our long-time contributors, passed to spirit in September 2021, and we are continuing the 12 Pathways Series in his honor. He also authored Spirit with a Smile and The World According to BOB. During his life, he was a licensed practitioner in the Centers for Spiritual Living and a Certified Trainer for Infinite Possibilities. His earlier books include What Ever Happened to Happily Ever After? and Split Happens—Easing the Pain of Divorce.

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In Memory of Gregg Sanderson

We are crestfallen to announce that Transformation Coaching’s longtime contributor and great friend Gregg Sanderson passed in September 2021 from Covid-19 and other complications. Gregg was an integral part of the Transformation team from its beginnings, and we have had the pleasure and honor of working with him for more than a decade.

Gregg’s spunky sense of humor, knack for poetry, and uncanny ability to describe in writing the Infinite (which he called B.O.B., the Being of Bliss) with clarity and relatability endeared him to our community and made him one of our most popular contributors. As another long-time author said: “He not only will be missed in the magazine, but his vital energy and keen insights on the human condition we all share is a light gone out.

Indeed, Gregg was a shining example of a teacher who lived his message: Gregg always exuded joy and demonstrated how to live in a state of gratitude. He had a magnetic, humble wisdom that is captured perfectly by the title of the very first article he wrote for Transformation Magazine, back in our bygone days of print: “That’s the Way It Is (Unless It’s Something Else).”

While Gregg is no longer with us in the physical, his spirit will live on though his many articles in our online archives.

Two months ago, we began publishing his series “The 12 Pathways,” based on Ken Keyes’ Handbook to Higher Consciousness, and in his honor we will continue until completion; this month is the Fourth Pathway. We also are sharing Gregg’s favorite poem, Family, as a tribute to his witty banter.

By Gregg Sanderson

One thing everybody knows is
Family ain’t a bed of roses.
When we all would get together, don’t ‘cha know
When we differ in many ways
Criticism’s trumping praise
And harmony’s a tricky row to hoe.

Witness the dysfunction
At the holiday luncheon.
When family assembles from afar
All have their own delight
And they know their way is right
No matter how opposed their viewpoints are.

Grandma’s cooking up a storm
At the stove at night and morn
She knows a woman’s place is in the kitchen.
Mama says it’s overrated
Gender roles are so outdated
Grandma just says “daughter, quit yer bitchin’”

Sister Susie won’t eat meat.
She calls watercress a treat.
She’s a militant crusading vegetarian.
Grandpa Henry sprinkles sugar
On his bloody rare hambuger
That’s how he became octogenarian.

Uncle Arty is a smarty
Joined the Democratic Party
And loudly he puts down the SUV
That belongs to cousin Joe
Who thinks that Arty is a shmoe.
So naturally he joined the GOP.

Brother Georgie is athletic
And he thinks it’s just pathetic
That younger brother Ritchie is a nerd.
While Georgie gets the praise
Little Ritchie gets straight “A”s
And each one thinks the other is absurd.

Cousin Willie is successful
But his life is over-stressful
With his business always calling him away.
Yet the most disturbing call
Wasn’t businesslike at all
It was just son Bob, announcing he was gay.

Then there’s uncle Jack
Who somehow came out black
While all the rest of us are lily white.
We couldn’t ask his mama
Who was down in Ala bama
But I’ll bet that southern belle got quite a fright.

Some folks have to criticize
They think they’re very wise
And that they’re on their way to self-esteem.
When judgment is their lot
Sometimes that’s all they’ve got.
A happy life for them is just a dream.

Little Lucy is a looker
And she became a hooker.
We all have different ways to get life’s lesson.
Putting righteousness aside
And letting love instead abide
We each can be ourselves without suppressin’
All that yucky “stuff” we wish’ll
Go away is superficial
While the love inside is aching to express.
Beneath everybody’s game
We’re really just the same.
All we want is love and happiness.

We all are sisters and we’re brothers
There aren’t any others
To induct into the brotherhood of man.
So when somebody’s opinions
Make you call out all your minions
Try loving your fellow human if you can.

So now I say to you
It’s all in point of view
Perhaps we just might clear away the fog
By thinking when we see
A dog that has a flea
That maybe it’s the flea that has a dog.

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10 Ways to Survive the Holidays Without Gaining Weight

By Rena Greenberg

Tips for maintaining a healthy relationship with food.

With the holidays approaching, you may be anticipating, with a bit of trepidation, all the food temptation that you are likely to experience. It’s no doubt the time of year when boxes of chocolate and cookies inevitably appear on your doorstep or in the office, and you find yourself at parties where endless spreads of sweets and high-calorie dishes abound. Cheery faces thrust rich food and drinks into your hands—and it may feel like you are clinging to every ounce of willpower you have, but only by a thread.

Relax, and cast your worries aside. With the following 10 tips, you’ll be able to survive the holiday onslaught with a smile, while still fitting into your clothes easily.

Tip #1: Avoid excess hunger. Do not let yourself become ravenously hungry. Make sure that you plan regular, healthy meals for yourself so that your stomach is comfortably full. You’ll be less tempted to binge if your blood sugar isn’t plummeting, so also make sure to include enough protein in your diet.

Tip #2: Take time for physical exercise. Exercise will keep your blood sugar stable, reduce stress, increase your metabolism, and improve your overall sense of well-being. Find an activity that’s fun for you that you can really enjoy and look forward to doing it—perhaps a long walk while pumping to the beat of your favorite music, racquetball, or in-line skating.

Tip #3: Have foresight. Plan a strategy for those situations where you know your willpower will be tested. If you know that you will be at a party where sinful treats are likely to be plentiful, plan your course of action in advance. Keep in mind that if you totally deprive yourself, you’re very likely to binge later. Make your strategy one that you are happy with and can accept. Perhaps you’ll allow yourself to indulge in a certain number of hors d’oeuvres, but steer clear of the dessert table.

Tip #4: Be assertive: Mentally rehearse challenging situations that are likely to occur before they happen. Create mental movies where you are the heroine or hero—overcoming any temptation to sabotage yourself by overeating in social situations or giving in to outside pressure to eat foods that you know are harmful to your goals and your health. Practice using phrases of assertiveness such as “No thanks, I’m not hungry,” or “Everything was delicious, but I’ve had enough.”

Tip #5: Be prepared: Carry around healthy snacks such as celery, cucumber, or carrot sticks to munch on during the day. The fiber in the vegetables will help you to have a full feeling in your belly, and make it easier to walk away from the junk.

Tip #6: Keep your eye on the goal. Even the most difficult situation is transitory so keep your focus on your ultimate desire for yourself to get through any challenges. Don’t forget your goal! Maybe it’s achieving and maintaining your ideal weight, fitting into your clothes comfortably, or feeling happy and confident in your relationship with food. Frequently visualize yourself at your ideal weight, wearing your favorite outfit, and engaging in an activity that you really enjoy.

Tip #7: Reward your successes. You got through the entire evening by focusing on and enjoying the people you were with, drinking bubbling water with lemon or lime, and only nibbling on some cheese, crackers and veggies, followed by a healthy dinner. Congratulate yourself! Treat yourself to a full body massage and revel in how good it feels to truly honor and care for yourself.

Tip #8: Be gentle with yourself. So you couldn’t resist, and before you even realized what you were doing you gobbled down three homemade cookies. Now the old self-talk starts creeping in, encouraging you to just throw in the towel and eat more (since you already blew your “diet”). Resist the temptation to agree with that negative voice, give yourself a moment to recover, and make a new choice. Remind yourself that if you were carrying two plates and one fell you wouldn’t just drop the other one, too. Walk away from those cookies…take a deep breath, and find a more healthful activity.

Tip #9: Stress busters are essential. The holidays can be a time of added frenzy. Prepare for that by engaging in stress-busting behaviors. Take some time everyday to center yourself with self-hypnosis or meditation. Become aware of your breathing throughout the day, and make sure that you are taking full, deep, life-affirming breaths. Drink lots of water and make sure to stretch throughout the day to help release some of the tension that’s accumulated in your muscles.

Tip #10: Use positive self-talk. When you become aware of inner voices that sabotage you, choose to not listen to them. Practice giving yourself positive suggestions instead. Speak to yourself the way you would imagine that the most loving, caring friend would talk to you. Praise the progress you’ve already made such as avoiding hanging around by the food table at parties, and give yourself gentle encouragement to help yourself avoid any pitfalls you may encounter.

Rena Greenberg, a Hay House author, can be reached at http://www.EasyWillpower.com. Her weight loss and gastric bypass hypnosis success has been featured in 150-plus news stories including USA Today, Woman’s World, The Doctor’s, CNN, Good Morning America and Nightline. PBS stations nationally aired Rena’s show, “Easy Willpower,” in August 2015. Her wellness program is sponsored in 75 hospitals and 100-plus corporations. She conducts hypnotherapy sessions with people all over the world on Skype.

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5 Life Coach Trends for 2022

By Jowanna Daley

Make the coming year your best by focusing on practical solutions that meet your clients’ evolving needs for more online services and authentic, empathetic support.

The coaching industry remains strong, and, despite the economic downturn due to COVID-19, the industry will reach $20 billion by 2022. With this growth comes healthy competition and choices for the market, and as a life coach you have to keep abreast of the coaching trends that can affect your business in 2022. Let’s go through the “Top 5”:

1. Virtual Coaching is Here to Stay

Offering virtual coaching is not just expected—it’s what clients are demanding. Not everyone is comfortable with face-to-face sessions. As we all know, some people are at a higher risk for COVID-19 complications if they contract the virus with certain preexisting conditions. Thus, offering virtual services makes coaching accessible to those who remain homebound. 

Additionally, clients are demanding personalized solutions, flexible schedules, and multi-channel communication options. While you can’t offer an infinite number of customer benefits, becoming a virtual coach allows you to offer more options to your client base.

What This Life Coach Trend Means for Your Practice

  • As you expand your offerings, evaluate your current pricing structure as well.
  • Don’t undersell yourself, or you may find that you have plenty of clients but not enough revenue to stay afloat.
  • Ensure that your practice is organized for digital service and that you have multiple support channels between sessions.

Even though we are in a digital world, clients require human interaction. You can fill this need virtually by giving your clients multiple ways to engage.

2. People Need Help Adjusting to the Digital World

The pandemic has forced our parents, peers, and the computer-resistant population to embrace technology. It also opens an opportunity for you to use your special powers combined with your life coaching skills to empower people.

You can increase revenue by helping people learn essential digital skills such as navigating the Internet, signing up on a social media platform, or joining a Zoom meeting.

What This Life Coach Trend Means for Your Practice

Even if you do not aspire to be a “technology” coach, hold free mini-sessions to help people through their digital woes. It’s also can serve as a gateway for new leads. Think outside the box to find opportunities. People want to do business with business owners who care (and solve their problems).

3. Authenticity is a Necessity for Your Life Coach Business

Knowing how to foster genuine connections is another critical element. Yet, it is sometimes hard to know what it means to be authentic, and it can be a struggle to demonstrate that authenticity. Consumers care more about the person behind the company than the company itself. Demonstrate authenticity by being the professional you communicate that you are.

What This Life Coach Trend Means for Your Practice

Sometimes it’s hard to know if your brand comes off inauthentically. Here are some tips to keep you true to who you are:

  • Don’t claim to have solutions for everything—telling the truth leads to trust.
  • Leave the buzzwords behind.
  • Skip the gimmicky marketing.
  • Continually train.
  • Say when you don’t know something.
  • Follow through on your brand promise.
  • Be vulnerable.

4. Empathy is Vital for a Successful Business Model

It’s one thing to know the definition of empathy, and it’s another thing to know how to practice it. I’ve found that it’s harder for professionals to practice empathy as business owners. The challenges are not as much in actual coaching—but applying empathy in their business operations.

What This Life Coach Trend Means for Your Practice

Listen intently to your clients. Know their needs (from their perspective) and solve those needs. You may share a common story, but that does not mean a client needs the solution that worked for you. Empathy requires listening, humility, and applying the proper tools to a situation. Continually challenge your empathy skills by practicing them every chance you get.

5. Quantifiable and Measurable Performance Outcomes for Clients are a Must

Clients want results and outcomes they can see. Life coaching services are now mainstreamed and are no longer this mysterious profession. People have also gotten savvier about expressing their needs and demanding measurable outcomes. The good news is that quantifying these outcomes will garner more interest in your service.

What This Life Coach Trend Means for Your Practice

Map your clients’ goals to performance outcomes. Your intake process must include your client’s definition of success. Implement a way to baseline where they are at and track progress with each session. Don’t be afraid to implement corrective measures when something is not working.

The coming year—2022—will be an exciting time for the coaching profession. As it continues to become mainstream, life coach trends will demand more customer focus, skilled business owners, and practical solutions. Assess where you stand on these trends and make adjustments to make 2022 your best coaching year yet!

Jowanna is a business and personal coach, consultant, freelance blogger, and personal brand photographer. Jowanna uses her 20-plus years of business, information technology, business analysis, and project management experience to serve solopreneurs, microbusinesses, and professionals through consulting, coaching, training, and workshops. She is also a freelance blogger who serves corporate and non-corporate clients. Visit her website at https://www.jowannadaley.com/about/.

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Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

By Mary Boutieller

Being uncomfortable in small, controlled situations can enable us to better handle the big events in life.

Here we are, celebrating this wonderful community, as we approach the coming winter months. For some of you, winter is a welcome time of year. There is a magic to it that isn’t experienced at any other time. There’s cold weather, crisp blue skies, skiing, etc. And while I don’t mind being outside in the chilly frost of winter, it’s not my ideal. A day…maybe a week…but month after month, no thank you! Needless to say, I’m more comfortable living in temperate weather.

The idea of being comfortable vs. uncomfortable has been coming up for me a lot lately. Recently, I watched a podcast on the “amazing” benefits of taking a cold shower each day and how it could change your whole life! I lasted three days and did not like it one bit; yet, I haven’t given up on the idea and often think about it…when I’m not in the shower. I also went on a bike ride a few weeks ago, cycling 264 miles in seven days without a lot of training beforehand. And yes, I was uncomfortable…uncomfortable and yet oddly exhilarated, all at the same time! And, I have a friend and fellow yogi, who, upon retiring, has been trying all kinds of new things—ikebana, weaving, painting, just to name a few. She sent me an email and told me how happy she was, and she also said this:

“I grew up as a perfectionist, too. So I’m trying to expand in the field of feeling a little uncomfortable in order to face my inner fears and grow and be free!!!”

As a fellow former perfectionist, I could relate to her, oh so well. Growing up, my fear of failing—of not being enough—often outweighed my desire to put myself out there, try new things and move outside my comfort zone. I stuck with what I knew I could do well, and left the rest behind. I played it safe, stuck to the rules, and didn’t move too far from center. I’m not sure at what point that shifted, but thank goodness it did. The spark inside ignited, and I haven’t looked back. And sometimes, it’s really uncomfortable!

Katie Couric said, “Be fearless. Have the courage to take risks. Go where there are no guarantees. Get out of your comfort zone even if it means being uncomfortable. The road less traveled is sometimes fraught with barricades, bumps and uncharted terrain. But it is on that road where your character is truly tested. And have the courage to accept that you’re not perfect, nothing is and nobody is—and that’s OK.”

The podcast about cold showers suggested that being uncomfortable in small, controlled situations would enable us to better handle the big events in life, and that the more we put ourselves in uncomfortable situations, the easier it would be to handle all that life throws our way. And, if we are being honest, life isn’t comfortable or easy all the time, and I’m not sure it should be. There are taxes and death, injury and illness, hard conversations and numerous let-downs of all manner and size. And, weirdly, that’s not all bad news. These events help us grow, teach us vital lessons, push our boundaries and buttons, and let us know that we are alive and have something to learn. We learn that we will survive, intact, and be able to move forward. We learn that growing older is not the awful thing advertisers would have us believe. We give ourselves permission to get into the nitty-gritty, surprising beauty of a life lived. When we push just a little bit, we get rewards that are ten-fold the effort put into it. When we say “Yes, sure, I’ll try it”—even hesitantly, we will discover a resilience and strength that we didn’t know existed. And we will find that, with all our warts and wrinkles, we are pretty awesome human beings.

Olympic Gold Medalist Kristin Armstrong said, “I want to get more comfortable being uncomfortable. I want to get more confident being uncertain. I don’t want to shrink back just because something isn’t easy. I want to push back, and make more room in the area between I can’t and I can.”

Where that area is for you is as unique as you are. Maybe it’s speaking your truth even if you feel nervous about it. Maybe it’s walking a extra few blocks, even if it is too warm or too cold outside. Maybe it is trying something new, even if you think you might fail. What if we simply were to try “it” on for size and give it a good, long look. If it doesn’t fit who you are, smile at the attempt and move on to something else. One step, one day, one uncomfortable, exhilarating moment at a time.

There are many things I don’t quite have the nerve to try, at least not yet. But when I’m considering what to do next, I’m reminded of this question: “At the end of our lives, will we most regret the things we did or didn’t try to do?”

In gratitude to all of you for traveling this road with me. Be well, be happy, be you!

Mary Boutieller is a Registered Yoga Teacher through Yoga Alliance. She has been teaching yoga since 2005. Her work experience includes 22 years as a firefighter/paramedic and 10 years as a Licensed Massage Therapist. Mary’s knowledge and experience give her a well-rounded understanding of anatomy, alignment, health and movement in the body. She is passionate about the benefits of yoga and the ability to heal at all levels through awareness, compassion, and a willingness to explore. She can be reached at: SimplyogaOm@gmail.com.

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Follow Your Passion

By Arielle Giordano

When we learn to dance with our fears—rather than block them—they will no longer hold us back.

Following our heart leads us to our passion and truest desires in both career and personal relationships. When we question, “Is this right for me?” or “Is this true for me?” and then listen quietly to our deepest knowing, we hear the answer from our voice of true understanding and choice. It moves us with the insight to know, the courage to push forward, and the confidence to take action and trust in the process.

It’s time to listen to what we know in our heart, follow our passion, and dance like there is nobody watching!

Several years ago, I resigned from my position as chairperson for an international university. This was a huge step for me to take both personally and professionally. For many years, my fears, patterns, emotions, thoughts, beliefs, perceptions, self-criticisms, judgments, shame, and survival issues surfaced when I needed to make choices. When offered this job, I knew it did not feel right, but I listened to the voice of my survival instincts and signed the contract anyway. Although, the “free spirit” inside of me said to let the job go and move forward, my own insecurity, conditioning, and “old” ways of being motivated me to accept the position.

Prior to letting the job go, I was drawn to a woman at a networking event. We connected immediately, as if we already knew each other! I hired her as my life coach, and at our first meeting I shared my thoughts and feelings regarding this position. I was squeezing myself into a tiny “job box,” like a genie in a bottle, consumed by trying to fit in for minimal financial rewards. There was little passion, energy, or opportunity to express my true Self. Her answer was, “Quit your job!”

A big red flag went up inside me: “I can’t quit my job!” I can’t lose integrity and breach my contract, I told her. She said, “If you are not being true to yourself, then you are out of integrity with yourself.” I knew what she was saying was true; it tingled in my body, and the body knows before the mind.

I recognized that my creative flow was blocked by this job. I was not connecting to my inner flow and dancing my own dance. I realized I was dancing in someone else’s shoes and doing someone else’s job! Where was my self-worth and value? During the coaching, I participated in an abandonment recovery program, and it helped me realize that I had abandoned myself!

I knew it was time for me to quit the job. After sending the resignation email, I felt mentally and emotionally drained and physically ill. However, during this process I learned to dance with my fears rather than block them and let them hold me back.

Just after sending the email there was a knock at the door. It was the lawn man, handing me a tiny white rubber dog that he found. Immediately, I was reminded of my Native American animal medicine cards; the dog is a symbol for loyalty with the question, “Are you being true to yourself and your goals?” The following day, I connected with an empowerment center and was asked by one of the owners to teach dance and facilitate expressive arts and transformational workshops. The same day, I completed writing a textbook project, and I was invited to coauthor a chapter for Transform your Life. Later at the post office, I ran into the owner of a local bookstore and discussed the possibility of a book signing. Serendipity?

Learning Lessons

From this experience, I learned that my choices and decisions were based upon fears, inherited patterns, values, beliefs, and social conditions. I was living in a continuous state of anxiety, operating in survival mode, with adrenaline on high volume. I was afraid to live and “just be.” I was like a doll, tightly wound and bound, afraid to unravel and be true to my career passions and allow loving relationships in my life. Real desires, talents, and abilities were buried underneath my tender but painful childhood experiences.

As soon as my survival patterns came up, I danced the sidestep into a more traditional job rather than dancing with my passions. At the same time, these deep-rooted patterns were hurting my love relationship. So, in addition to changing my career path, I gradually opened my heart to my fiancé and let love happen—and now we are married and dancing together on many new levels. The healing of my past is about me reconnecting, rediscovering, and uncovering parts of me that I had forgotten.

What matters the most to me is dancing down to the bare bones, into the soles and rawness of my feet! I have released old patterns, feelings, and emotions, and bought new awareness to light. I am now living life dancing to the rhythm of my own heart, being present and in my body, and in the flow!

Awareness brings light to the surface, so let your heart dance in the light and express your true Self.

My advice to you: Dance like there is no one watching in a loving gentle space with openness and softness, without judgment, criticism, or ridicule. Dance with your passion, courage, fearlessness, confidence, and trust to gracefully become a new you!

Here are some ways to make powerful choices:

  • Follow your passion with courage, confidence, and trust.
  • Let the knowing in your heart guide you to your passions, which requires real honesty.
  • Discern the repetition of conditioned patterns from the “real you.” (Are you dancing in your own shoes or in someone else’s?)
  • Know that it is okay to become unstuck and move forward.
  • Stretch and move out of the old, normal way of being, and let yourself be different.
  • Know that goodness moves in many ways and we are never given more than we can handle; enjoy being new and fresh every day.
  • When thoughts, feelings, beliefs patterns, perspectives or issues come up, make a conscious, powerful choice to move forward through the fears.
  • Begin to move in the “awesomeness” of a child; be childlike and playful, do what you love, and have fun!

Transformational Life Coach Award-Winning Author & Speaker, Professional Dancer. Arielle’s Award-Winning book for Best Self-Help Award: Dancing With Your Story From The Inside is available on http://www.Amazon.com. Her professional career includes the Lead Faculty Area Chairperson and Professor for the College of Humanities, History and the Arts at the University of Phoenix. She is a published co-author of Transform Your Life Books 1 & 2 and author for Tampa Bay Wellness, Conscious Shift & Transformation magazine. She has published her 4th book, an Instructor’s Manual for Barlow Abnormal Psychology 4th ed. and authored Psychology, A Journey 3rd.ed. Study Guide published by Nelson Education, Toronto, ON. She has also studied philosophy at the College of Integrated Philosophy with John DeRuiter for twenty years. Arielle has been a featured guest on radio and television, in newspapers, and the media across the US and Canada. She is a certified Essentrics Stretch and Dance Instructor. Arielle offers coaching sessions, classes and workshops and a free 30-minute Consultation. Websites: http://www.dancingfromtheinsideout.com, http://www.ariellegiordano.com. Email: agbeautifuldance@gmail.com

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Who Needs Need: The Fourth Pathway

By Gregg Sanderson

Gurus from time immemorial tell us to “Be Here Now.” What the heck does that mean? It reminds me of the advice columnist who tells the guy with pimples, “Develop your personality.”

By itself, it’s pretty useless advice. Let’s approach “Be Here Now” from a different angle. Let’s practice being “here now” by getting rid of the stuff that puts us “there then.”

And that brings us to the fourth pathway: “I always remember that I have everything I need to enjoy my here and now, unless I am letting my consciousness be dominated by demands and expectations based on the dead past or the imagined future.”

Start where you are…At this place (here) at this time (now). At this moment, what can keep you from enjoying it? Perhaps you’re enjoying it too much (guilt from past) or concerned about punishment (worry over the future). Maybe you miss somebody who left (past) or wishing they’d come back (future). Either way, they’re not here.

Woosh! There goes the moment. Look around while you have all that mental chatter going on. What are you missing right here and right now?

Living in the here and now is like going to Disney World. The whole world is Disney… UNLESS you focus on what you left behind, or on what’s yet to come.

Disney World itself is called “The Happiest Place on Earth” because it’s a here and now experience. It’s a world of here and now wonder—from the meticulously detailed rides and attractions to the spontaneous interactions with characters, other visitors, and cast. They make it easy to focus on each moment as it happens.

Nobody ever worries about their rent coming due while riding the coaster on Space Mountain, and when that thought does come up at the ticket office—it’s a signal to apply the fourth pathway.

Of course, planning for the future, near or far, is a perfectly valid activity. The problem comes when being happy is part of the plan. Beware if it includes a “justassoonas,” such as, “I’ll enjoy Disney World justassoonas the fireworks start.”

Or in life: “I’ll be happy justassoonas…(choose one or more)

  • …I make enough money.
  • …I get married.
  • …I dump this loser.
  • …I retire.
  • …I reincarnate into a better life.

Well, you get the idea.

We get a lot of encouragement to escape the moment, and it takes vigilance to guard against the subtle input. I remember a conversation with a fellow who joined an organization because they had a great retirement plan. He was 26.

TV commercials and insurance companies assure us that disaster is inevitable, and churches tell us it’s hopeless anyhow because somebody we don’t know is reported to have eaten an apple a long, long time ago. Happily, there’s an easy way to neutralize all that input:

Look around and find something to appreciate or be grateful for.

SHAZAM, you’re in the moment. Guilt and worry can’t coexist with appreciation and gratitude.

And if all else fails, go back to step 1:

“I always remember that I have everything I need to enjoy my here and now, unless…”

Gregg Sanderson, one of our long-time contributors, passed to spirit in September 2021, and we are continuing the 12 Pathways Series in his honor. He also authored Spirit with a Smile and The World According to BOB. During his life, he was a licensed practitioner in the Centers for Spiritual Living and a Certified Trainer for Infinite Possibilities. His earlier books include What Ever Happened to Happily Ever After? and Split Happens—Easing the Pain of Divorce.

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How to Love Yourself Unconditionally

By Owen Waters

The power of “Love” can transform and heal limiting beliefs.

If there is anything that you dislike about yourself—your body, your mind or your feelings—it is time to clear away that old baggage once and for all.

Tell yourself a totally positive thought, such as:

“I love everything about my body.”

Then, listen for the inner voice of self-criticism to step in and say things like, “except for my weight,” “except for my unmanageable hair,” and so on.

The point of the exercise is to identify opinions and beliefs that you hold at an unconscious level. Bring them up into your conscious mind where you can see them and, then, they can be addressed and healed using the power of Love. That’s Love with a big “L,” as in Unconditional Love.

Here’s how it’s done, using Unconditional Love:

First, you add a phrase onto the end of the criticism. That phrase is, “and I Love myself anyway.” So, if you hear your inner voice say, “except for my weight,” you add, “and I Love myself anyway” right on the end.

In the example of weight being the issue, here is the sequence of events:

1) You stated, “I love everything about my body.”

2) The thought, “except for my weight” came up, thereby revealing its existence.

3) You then respond, “and I Love myself anyway.”

Now, here’s where we come to the magic bit. By the power of Love you can transform and heal the limiting belief, “except for my weight.”

Imagine the thought, “and I Love myself anyway” as a small ball of mental energy and direct it into the energy center of your heart, which is outside of your body, just in front of your breastbone. Feel your heart energy bathing the phrase, “and I Love myself anyway” in its warmth as you mentally repeat it while focused on that energy center.

Then, repeat the positive statement, “I love everything about my body,” and, again, wait for the voice of the inner critic. You may find that the old belief has been dissolved on the first attempt. More likely, however, you will find that it has simply been lessened—that it comes with a less intense negative feeling.

Here’s the key to dissolving negative feelings: Repeat the process a few times and notice how the power of the negative feeling dissipates with each performance of this healing technique. Repeat until it becomes a non-issue.

Now, use this technique to heal other negative ideas. Use another totally positive statement, such as:

“I feel wonderful about myself.”

This will reveal negative emotions and self-criticisms of a nonphysical nature. Use unconditional love again:

Add, “and I Love myself anyway” onto the end of the first criticism that comes up.

Imagine that thought as a small ball of mental energy and direct it into the energy center of your heart, just in front of your breastbone. Feel your heart energy bathing the phrase, “and I Love myself anyway,” in its warmth.

Repeat this positive statement and keep repeating the technique until the criticism has faded into either silence or a non-active emotional state.

Fears are another kind of barrier to higher consciousness. Fear is the opposite of love. Love dissolves fear, just as fear can drive out love.

There is no fear that cannot be dissolved by the application of love energy.

To reveal hidden, inner fears, use the statement:

“I feel safe at all times and in all places.”

You may discover, or remember, that you have fears of water, of heights, of flying, all of which can be released with unconditional love.

Once you clear emotional blockages to unconditional love, you are ready to move ahead and glimpse the next adventure in higher consciousness: The deep, intuitive inspiration of soul consciousness.

Owen Water is a cofounder of the Spiritual Dynamics Academy and InfiniteBeing.com, where a where a free spiritual growth newsletter awaits you at https://www.InfiniteBeing.com. He is an international spiritual teacher who has helped hundreds of thousands of spiritual seekers to understand better the nature of their spiritual potential. Owen’s life has been focused upon gaining spiritual insights through extensive research and the development of his inner vision. He has written a spiritual metaphysics newsletter since 2004 which empowers people to discover their own new vistas of inspiration, love and creativity. Spiritual seekers enjoy his writings for their clarity and deep insights. Contact Owen via email News@InfiniteBeing.com.

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