Love your thoughts…

I have come to realize that most of us are our own worst enemy! It has been a tremendous growth year for me personally. I have battled with the swirling negative thoughts we all seem to think about ourselves when we look in the mirror or do or say something we later regret. The nasty things that pop into our heads and make us think we aren’t enough. I have battled my “will” to stay in the game of self-improvement instead of quitting and chalking it up to “I am the way I am”. I have battled with the belief that I am overwhelmed and that everything needs to be struggle. Yup…I have struggled.

But this month, the last month of the year, as I review my journal and the strides I have made, I am reminded that the ONLY obstacle in my life between where I am now and where I dream to be – is myself. And that’s true for all of us. Our thoughts are powerful. Our thoughts create feelings, those feelings create energy and that energy goes out into the world and reflects the same energy back to us. All the time…without fail. The more you think you don’t have enough and how broke you are – the more experiences show up to prove you are right. The more you think life sucks, the more it will suck. That’s the bottom line…

So, this year, I worked tirelessly to retrain my thoughts. That’s really all it takes, retraining. Like breaking a bad habit. I had to “catch” myself all day long and as soon as I realized I was thinking thoughts that were not in alignment with who I wanted to be or where I want to go, I would change my thought. If I was telling myself things were too hard, I changed it to “I am doing the best I know how, just like everyone else”. If I had a thought that there wasn’t enough time in the day, I changed it to “I have all the time in the world”. It’s amazing what happens when you start catching yourself and taking control of your thoughts. It’s like a light bulb goes off and you start realizing that you have more control over how your day turns out than we sometimes think wone small positive thoughte do.

We can get so caught up in our feelings and running the race that we forget to stop and smell the roses. We rush, rush, rush, go to bed late, get up late and our day spins out of control and then we go to bed with a thousand thoughts swirling around in our heads and we can’t sleep. I get it. I mean I TOTALLY get it! It used to happen to me all the time. Until I took control!

So during this holiday season, when things seem to be moving too fast and we are so hard on ourselves to be perfect, to get it all done too fast, to have all the gifts ready, to have all the parties, and on and on and on…try these simple steps to slow you down…

  1. Take time to breath…5 deep breaths with your stomach (not chest)
  2. Make a to-do list the night before
  3. Bring in the 5 senses to stop swirling thoughts (what can I see, hear, smell, touch, taste)
  4. Say to yourself “I am doing the best I can, just like everyone else!”
  5. Close your eyes and see 5 things you are grateful for – gratefulness changes everything!

I hope you have a blessed, truly fabulous Holiday season with your friends and family!!

For more amazing tools and to learn more about the Creative Insight Journey, visit my bio and free workshop webpage at http://www.jennifergrace.com/cij-cities/napa/  – dates coming soon in Napa.

Hugs and blessings,

Victoria

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Comfort Zone…kissing it goodbye!

 

It’s crazy…if someone had told me 10 years ago or even a year ago that in 2015 I would launch a coaching business to teach an 8 week life transformational program – I would have laughed in their face and probably peed my pants while doing it. Seriously!

   {My dad used to tickle me until I peed my pants when I was little and I can’t believe I am sharing this detail right now…but seemed appropriate at the moment…luckily, I don’t pee my pants anymore though…REALLY!}

Now, first, I have to say that I have always wanted my own business. After all, my father had a strong drive to succeed and an entrepreneurial spirit so “it’s in the blood!” But to be honest, I always doubted the business ideas I would come up with or doubted my abilities and just kept on keepin’ on at the 9 to 5 climb of the corporate ladder.

Isn’t that what we are taught in this country? You go to college to get a degree so you can get a good job that will pay you enough to have a decent living. We are taught to work hard, say yes to our bosses and work 50+, sometimes, 60+ hours to climb the ladder of success. But for what? Helping the success of someone else’s company while the owners reap the rewards of the nice homes, fancy cars, family vacations and private schools for the kids.

When aimages (10)re we taught to trust our great ideas? When are we taught to dream?

I really thought that the harder I worked, the more I would be respected and the more I would get paid. Well, guess what? That’s only partially true. I had reached a point in my “career” where I thought I had finally made it, I was finally an Executive making great money. But I also had a price to pay.

What price are you paying for the money you make? What price are you paying for not following your dreams?

The price I was paying was my sanity. My health. My balance. Undivided time with my family. So the question is “why do we pay the price?” I believe it’s mostly due to fear. It’s so scary to think outside of the box of what we have been taught to think/believe and venture out on our own.

You see, stepping out of our comfort zone is not easy. Our comfoComfortablert zone is the place where we are COMFORTABLE, maybe the place of low expectations of ourselves, our life and our abilities; the place where we push away our dreams and throw great ideas in the trash. So it’s not easy at all. In fact, it can be downright painful at first.

Because you have to find a way to create a new mindset. You have to create a new way of thinking and being. Albert Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Stepping out of your comfort zone requires doing something different. And different is sometimes scary. Okay, maybe always scary.

Two years ago, I had 10 seconds of courage to step out of my comfort zone and take a trip to Sedona, AZ. (You can read about that trip in my blog archives) One year ago, I had another 10 seconds of courage to sign up for an 8 week program that changed everything. And 8 months ago I had another 10 seconds of courage and signed up for a 5 month certification program to teach the class that changed my life. Who knows where it will take me. But I am stepping out!! Little by little. You see, all it takes is 10 seconds of courage to step out of your comfort zone. And who knows what the ripple effects in your life will be!!Life begins at end of zone

Below is a poem I found a long time ago about the “Comfort Zone” and it has stuck with me ever since and I wanted to share. If you are interested in the 8 week program that helped me step out of my comfort zone, click here: www.insight4oursoul.com.

May you find 10 seconds of courage this week to step outside your comfort zone….

Love & Light,

Victoriahearts

The Comfort Zone

by Anonymous

I used to have a comfort zone where I knew I couldn’t fail,

The same four walls and busy work were really more like a jail

I longed so much to do the things I’d never done before,

But I stayed inside my comfort zone and paced the same old floor

I said it didn’t matter that I wasn’t doing much,

I said I didn’t care for things like diamonds, cars and such

I claimed to be so busy with the things inside my zone,

But deep inside I longed for something special of my own

I couldn’t let my life go by just watching others win,

I held my breath and stepped outside to let the change begin

I took a step and with new strength I’d never felt before,

I kissed my comfort zone good bye and closed and locked the door

If you are in a comfort zone afraid to venture out,

Remember that all winners were at one time filled with doubt

A step or two and words of praise can make your dreams come true

Greet your future with a smile, success is there for you!

fish out of water

Week of Mar. 4th

My Goal This Week: Well…as they say “the best laid plans”…I had a goal set for this week and by Wednesday life had other plans and things changed. So my goal for “learning to love” this week became: get through the week as best I can.

My Experience This Week: On Wednesday this week we found out one of my Aunt’s passed away. Although it was not a huge shock as she was in her nineties but still not expected as she was full of life and vigor. I actually had not seen her since my wedding shower a few years ago. But nonetheless, the news was sad and was harder the more I thought of her.

Technically speaking, she was not an Aunt by genetics but she was my grandmothers’ best friend (for decades) and we all grew up calling her our Aunt and it certainly felt that way. And like my grandmother, she was the sweetest woman you would ever want to meet. She had a way of making you feel special when she was in your presence – like you were the most important person in the world to her at that moment. That is a rare gift. She loved life, loved to dance, laugh, play the slots and have fun. She always called you sweetheart, honey or some other endearing nick name and was always concerned with what was happening in your life. She will be greatly missed but perhaps now we all have another angel looking out for us and maybe helping us win a few dollars at our next gambling venture.

But then, just as we were wrapping our arms around that news, we learned that my husbands’ grandmother had passed away. His family had been caring for her and visiting her for weeks as they knew she was nearing the end of her earthly life. But although she was in her nineties as well, it was still very difficult news. Being there for my husband and his family as much as I could became the second goal for the end of the week.

Upon hearing the news, we immediately drove to his Aunt’s house to be with his family for those precious final moments. Saying good-bye is so painful – even if it’s only good-bye for now. When you care so much and see your loved ones going through this pain – you wish there was a way to take it away. Especially if you have been there before and know what they are going through. But all you can do is comfort, hold and share your love with them while they work through the process of grieving their loss.

But what I was not expecting this week was the memories all this brought back of the loved ones I have witnessed in their last moments and how much I still miss them no matter how much time as passed. My dad used to say when I experienced pain or loss growing up “sweetheart, time has a funny way of healing all wounds”…so funny that now I can understand what he meant. All wounds heal over time, but the deeper the wound, the large the scar left behind. When it comes to the most special people in our lives, the deeper we love them, the deeper the scar their loss leaves but healing is still in progress under the surface.

My father was already ill with ALS when my grandmother passed away. So, we knew we were on borrowed time where he was concerned. Watching him grieve for his Mom, I can remember thinking “how am I going to get through this when it’s my dad?”. The only answer I have is by the grace of God. We all experience different forms of loss in our lives and somehow, from somewhere, the strength we need arrives and we can do things we never thought were possible.

I guess the ultimate end result or lesson for me in learning to love this week is that by the grace of God we are all connected to each other, to God and to everything around us. Because of that connection we can never be separate from God, each other or everything around us. There are times I feel more connected to my grandmother and my dad now because their souls are limitless and connected to mine in a powerful way. There are times, when I still miss them tremendously and some days it’s harder than others but I do feel blessed in the comfort of knowing they are able to offer guidance and a helping hand in my life more now than ever and the more I connect with that love of them, the more little miracles I witness in my life that could only have come with a little help.

~ Hoping you are staying connected ~

🙂 Victoria