Five Ways to Manage Your Energy at a Conference

One thing that I find challenging as a highly sensitive person is the feeling of being overwhelmed when I’m attending conferences. At such events you’re constantly exposed to copious amounts of ever changing sights, sounds, and energies. And if you attend personal or professional growth seminars you are also vulnerable to the unexpected emotions that (hopefully) trigger a breakthrough in your life and business.

It’s a lot to handle, especially if you are the type of person that tends to help other people manage their energy. Suddenly you’re thrust into a situation where you feel everyone’s energy and it can be difficult to maintain your sense of peace and confidence when you are exposed to so much.

Recently I turned down some opportunities to attend conferences because I believed it would leave me depleted and exhausted. I knew that from experience because in the past I would try to put on my game face and be like everybody else so I didn’t seem as “less than”. But honestly, I just couldn’t keep up and I would crash. Hard.

However, conferences are great opportunities to learn and grow so I’ve adopted a few new practices to help me stay true to myself and still have a great time.

First let me just say that there are two things to be clear about before you say yes to an event like this. Make sure that you actually want to attend the conference and will benefit from what is being taught. If you’re only mildly interested say no. Period. Next spend some time getting to know the host. Observe how they interact with their tribe and determine whether or not you trust this person. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about their philosophy or what you can gain from their event.

Five Ways to Manage Your Energy at a Conference

1. Know that you don’t have to attend EVERY session. Many conferences that I attend involve ten hour days for three straight days. That’s a lot for anybody, but if you’re highly sensitive, you’re especially susceptible to overextending yourself. Look at the schedule beforehand and identify a couple of times that you can take a break if you feel your energy dipping.

2. Create some space for yourself. Introverts need a little bit of alone time to process and recharge. On your breaks, take a walk outside. Sit in the sun or under a shade tree. Find a place with running water or relaxing music and just BE for a few moments.

3. Meet a new friend and have an intimate conversation. When you’re involved and connected with another person you are less likely to be thrown off balance from the energy in the room.

4. Move your body. Energy needs to move. If you’re picking up lots of energy from your surroundings you don’t want to hold that in your body. Let it out. Your event organizer may have a guided movement activity. Join in, rather than worry about how you might look. You’ll feel so much better afterward.

5. Bring a touch of the familiar with you. Keep a photo of your family with you or an object that reminds you of someone you love. Also, you could ask a person close to you to send a “check in” text during your breaks. This will help keep you grounded and remind you of WHY you are attending the conference.

Stepping out of your comfort zone is so important to your growth. You don’t need to miss out on these opportunities simply because they are not designed for the highly sensitive person. You are strong and perfectly capable of adapting so that your next conference is a positive and life changing experience.

How to Use Writing to Get Into the Flow, Open Up Creatively, and Heal Your Soul

We’ve all had experiences of trauma, heartbreak, confusion, missed opportunities and loss. Sometimes it feels as though these events, and the pain, will stay with us forever.

It might feel better to deny the pain, but when pain is denied it doesn’t leave the body and soul. Rather it stays energetically stuck and emerges as various physical and emotional ailments. The energy can’t flow.

A healthy, happy soul flows.

Being in flow means being guided by the source of all things. You may simply call it “being in the zone”. When you’re in flow, there is little resistance to life and even the challenging days don’t seem as difficult.

Artists are connected to flow when they create. Soulful business leaders are connected to flow when they lead. Anyone can be connected to the flow for creativity, abundance, and healing.

What stops us from being in flow?

The ego mind continually seeks out problems or possible problems as a means to keep us safe, or in other words to never experience pain again. But we both know that’s just not possible and so what really ends up happening is we stop participating in life. We shut down our creative side. We quit taking risks. We lose our joy.

Perhaps it’s not as dramatic as that for you. But the ego mind can certainly cause you to feel doubt and confusion. Does your mind ever re-live a situation over and over to “figure it out” and you just feel stuck?

Wayne Dyer used to say that ego stands for Edging God Out. The ego mind disconnects your from your flow.

So how about you get that going again?

One of the best ways I’ve discovered to stay in flow, open up to my creative side, and heal my soul is through writing. It helps me establish a dialogue with my soul and my higher power. I begin to see and understand myself from a new perspective, one of non-judgment and love.

A regular practice of journaling can help you get back into flow. Here are some tips for making your practice successful.

Journaling for Healing Tips

  • Set up a regular time to journal. I prefer to write just before bed. It helps me get all the junk out of my head so I can sleep peacefully.
  • Use pen and paper whenever possible. This creates a physical connection to the activity and makes for a richer experience
  • Use journal prompts to help you access the deeper parts of yourself that are waiting to be expressed (get my list of 25 soulful journal prompts below)
  • Let the thoughts flow from your mind on to the paper. Do not edit. There is no right or wrong
  • Don’t read your journal entries until some time has passed and you no longer feel emotionally charged by the words
  • Keep your journal private. This is a judgment free zone, where you should be free to express yourself in any way you see fit
  • Accept that you are not looking for direct answers to your circumstances but rather a feeling of peace and satisfaction from the writing process itself

In time, a regular practice of writing will help you to trust your authentic self, and accept yourself as whole. This is the true healing we all seek. Don’t forget to get your free journal prompts below.

Three Ways to Nourish the Soul Without Food

You know your body needs to consume food in order to survive. When you were a baby and you sensed that you were hungry, you cried and someone provided you with the nutrients you needed. Each day your body used that nourishment to grow, and now that you are an adult you accept this process of feeding your body with food.

But what about your soul? How does the soul cry for nourishment and how do you feed this aspect of yourself?

I believe the soul speaks to us in many ways. First it speaks as a gentle nudge in the form of an inspired thought. Then it might try to get our attention by lining up with odd occurrences or synchronicities in the world around us. Next we might feel a sense of discomfort in some area of life. And finally, if we don’t answer these calls, the soul will speak to us (cry out) through our own emotions of frustration, anger, sadness, or boredom.

The problem is often compounded by the fact that we just don’t know what to feed the soul. So often people attempt to nourish the soul with food, just as they would feed the body. And this doesn’t solve the problem, it doesn’t make the discomfort go away, so they feed themselves again. Unfortunately this type of emotional eating usually just leads to weight gain and a never ending cycle of unfulfilled needs.

Does this sound familiar to you? Well the first key to changing anything is awareness. If you become aware in those situations of trying to fuel the soul with donuts and pizza, then you can choose another, more soul fulfilling course of action.

When the soul cries it is asking to be nourished with experiences, not things. A salad itself does not fill the soul, but the experience of shopping for ingredients,  preparing a salad with care and sharing that salad with others CAN fill the soul.

If you pay attention to your present surroundings and notice how you feel, you are communicating with your soul and this puts you in a great place to offer your soul the nourishment it wants. You might be surprised to learn that the simplest things are often the most satisfying. The soul after all does not care what kind of car you drive or how much money you make. It is only concerned with with giving and receiving the feelings of love, joy, and peace.

Each individual soul has its own unique preferences as to what they find fulfilling and how they access this love, joy and peace. In my own life I have found three ways to nourish your soul without food.

Three Ways to Nourish Your Soul Without Food

1. Personal reflection – When you take the time to stop fulfilling the needs of the external world and just sit with yourself, in silence, you can often hear the soul speaking. In my experience this practice has helped me to realize, more than once, that I was doing things in my life that really didn’t light me up. Personal reflection has been a great tool in helping me stay aligned with my soul’s purpose.

When can you take some time today to sit in silence, doing nothing? A few moments is all it takes.

2. Self expression – I’ve always been a big advocate of positive self expression in whatever form that takes for each person. I know that when I am making something, whether it be painting, writing, singing, graphic design or speaking, I am tuned into Divine Source. The point of self expression is not money and admiration, but rather a sense of inner fulfillment and bliss. The best aspect of self expression is that the more you open up to express yourself, the more space you create for even more inspiration and creativity to flow. And thus more bliss!

What is one thing you can do today to move some creative energy?

3. Connection and intimacy – I’m not necessarily talking about the moments you spend with a romantic partner. Connection and intimacy is a bond that is formed when you accept and appreciate someone or something for who/what they are. The first requirement for this is to allow yourself to be truly present in the moment (practicing #1 and #2 above can help you get in the moment). One of my favorite ways to practice intimacy is by going out into nature. I keep my eyes and ears open for nearby animals and interesting plants. If something catches my attention I stop to make a connection. You can bet if you do this the animals are also aware of you. Try it.

How can you experience a moment of connection and intimacy today?

Ultimately the soul is easy to please if you just practice feeding it for a few moments each day. I think you’ll find that if you do this, it will improve other areas as well.
How does your soul like to be fed? Share below.

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5 Mistakes That Sabotage a Healthy Happy Life

When it comes to living healthy, there is a plethora of information on the internet, television, magazines and books. You may even have found that many opinions differ on the best ways to create better health.  At best it’s confusing and at worst this information overload can lead to inconsistent and unhealthy habits in your eating, exercise, and mindset. You may be making mistakes that sabotage a healthy happy life.

In today’s post I want to share five common mistakes I see people make in an effort to improve their health. While their intentions are good, these thoughts and behaviors actually sabotage a healthy happy life. Not to worry though, you can easily turn your good intentions into radiant success with my suggestions.

Mistakes That Sabotage Health

1. You’re interested but not committed.

This is such an easy mistake to make because we’re all interested in better health, right? Maybe you follow some health gurus online or you’ve bought some clean eating books. You tried the techniques or the recipes and nothing stuck. By the end of the month you forgot about your plan, you’re back to your old habits, and you can’t figure out why you just don’t make any progress. You think maybe a different book or teacher is the answer so you start following another plan and that fails too. Sound familiar? You’re not alone. We’ve all made this mistake at one time or another.

The thing you need to realize is that you need to have a burning desire to make a change in your life or it just won’t happen. Think about the reasons WHY you want to be healthy and happy. Write your reasons down and post them where you can see them often. Join a support group like my free Healthy Happy Souls group to help you stay committed to your goals.

2. You buy into the hype that there is only one right way to be healthy.

Every health guru has their own opinions about what works because they know what worked for them. Take a look at all the different eating plans and diets from paleo to vegetarian to raw foods. They all exist because they do work but they don’t all work for everyone. The same goes for exercise. Your body is unique to you so your health plan should be also.

Here’s what I suggest. Want to try that new eating plan that’s trending on instagram? Go ahead and try it (after research of course). Take notes on how your body feels while doing this plan. How is your energy, your mood, your skin, etc? If all is well, continue or modify the plan to fit your needs and your lifestyle.

3. You micro manage the details.

You’ve seen people who obsess over every pound and maybe you’ve even done it yourself. Imagine someone counting out every calorie they consume, weighing in every day, or putting in an extra workout in the evening because they ate a brownie earlier in the day. While it might seem like monitoring and tightly controlling all the details of your health routine is a good idea, it’s really a road to misery. I’ll tell you why – because good health is a result of averages. One bad meal won’t ruin your health just like one good meal (or juice) won’t fix it. Everyone’s weight fluctuates throughout the day, week, and month, so micro managing the details won’t do you any good. In fact, when you tie your happiness to such small increments your moods will constantly go up and down like a yo-yo. It will stress you out and that will cause more harm than good.

Try this. Give yourself some space to enjoy the process. Aim for goals that are doable and not outrageous. Add some fun to your daily routine in the form of a hobby or activity you love. Then check in and assess your overall week. One thing I know for sure – people who follow their joy and passion have less stress and find it easier to lose weight, be happy and get healthy.

4. You deprive yourself of your favorite foods.

This mistake goes along with number three. When you intentionally deny yourself the things you enjoy, your mind goes into overtime trying to figure out a way to get it. Have you noticed that? Then what usually happens is you end up binging and feeling miserable afterward. Healthy eating and living is all about balance.

So how about a compromise? Seek out healthier versions of your favorite foods. For instance if you love chocolate, try this Chocolate Spinach Smoothie, which is much better for your than a chocolate milkshake. As you move into an overall healthier lifestyle you may find that your tastes change and you begin craving healthier foods. It gets easier!

5. You insist on pushing through stress.

If you look at the motivational messages about achieving success, much of it is based on working hard and pushing through any obstacles which get in your way. While there is some merit to being persistent and challenging yourself to do better, this way of thinking can lead to reckless behavior because it glorifies competition and stress. Remember, there is no one right way for everyone and your tolerance levels to stress may be different than your friends.

Instead of over-achieving when you feel stressed out, what if you simply took 30 minutes to relax. Sit and meditate, have a cup of tea or go for a leisurely walk. Let the stress pass through your system and you will think more clearly, feel happier, and ultimately be more productive.

Let the Good Vibes Flow

There is a happy balance in life for everyone. It may take some time to find yours, but don’t give up. Keep trying new ways to incorporate more good into your life, while letting go of ideas and rules that don’t work for you. So what have you learned about making your health routine successful? Share below.

Bucket List Ideas to Make Your Soul Happy

Until last week, I had never made any list of things to do before I die. Sure I’ve had dreams and I have even written many of those dreams down as a way to help manifest them into my life, however the idea of having a “bucket list” never sat well with me. I guess it’s because I felt that every time I would cross an item off the list, it would bring me closer to the end. Can you relate?

Well I’ve had a burst of inspiration that turned my thinking around and got me excited about making such a list. I’ll explain my story, my new and far better name for this list and I’ll even give you over 100 bucket list ideas so you can start too.

Start with Why

The reason I decided to finally begin my bucket list was simple and two-fold.

First, I had been feeling incredibly stressed out by all the political stories in my social media feeds. Times are tough no matter where in the world you live or what political beliefs you align with. We all feel the tension, but focusing on the external world so much was definitely not bringing me joy (one of my hallmarks of a well lived life). I believe truth is found by looking inward so this has been a perfect time for me to review my hopes and dreams for the future.

The second reason I felt this list was a great idea for me now in my life is that I am finally ready to experience that joy no matter what anyone else thinks. It doesn’t matter to me if I look silly or irrational or invest my money, time and efforts into things that other people don’t understand or appreciate. I spent so much of my life following the rules, trying not to rock the boat and pleasing other people.

I’m creating a bucket list to please myself and no one else!

Get Busy Living

The bottom line is that I decided it was time for me to get busy living. Living a full and rich life excites me and motivates me (much more than dying). For this reason I am calling my list the Get Busy Living List. My list so far is composed of a variety of actions I can take that represent my desires and curiosities about life. Some of the items on my list are things I’ve wanted to do for many, many years. Other items I found by reviewing other people’s lists and still others came to me by pure inspiration.

Contrary to what you might think, a Get Busy Living List doesn’t have to be all about expensive once in a lifetime dreams. When you create your list you are free to add even the tiniest action item. For instance, you might want to spend a day smiling at strangers, just to see how many smile back. It’s your list, your truth. You decide. Therein lies the freedom.

So are you ready to create your own list?

100 Bucket List ideas Get Busy Living List ideas to make your soul happy

Get busy traveling

What cities, states or countries have you always wanted to visit? Whether you go on a day trip, a weekend adventure or an epic journey, travel can uplift your soul. Here are some suggestions to get you moving:

  1. Nashville Tennessee – the home of country music
  2. The Redwood Forests of California – where ancient trees hold the secrets of life
  3. The Grand Canyon in Arizona – an ever-changing work of natural art
  4. Barcelona Spain – a city of crazy, passionate architecture
  5. Rome Italy – where history and legend meets
  6. The Scandinavian countries Denmark/Norway/Sweden – home of the Vikings and extreme weather
  7. Tokyo, New York, or Sao Paulo – the three largest cities in the world
  8. Machu Picchu Peru – a 15th century mountain top citadel
  9. The Great Pyramids – one of the world’s biggest mysteries
  10. Petra Jordan – Indiana Jones went there

Get Busy Learning

The great thing about learning is that you never have to stop. There will always be new ideas, places, subjects, and skills to learn. Below are some ways you can start:

  1. Learn a new language
  2. Learn a new sport
  3. Learn how to fix something that gets broken – a dining chair, your plumbing, your car
  4. Learn how to speak in front of people
  5. Learn a form of art – painting, photography, jewelry making
  6. Take singing lessons
  7. Learn how to play an instrument
  8. Pick an event in history and study it
  9. Take a survival skills class
  10. Learn CPR

Get Busy With Your Health and Fitness

If you don’t have your health, how can you do all your other adventures? Here are some ideas to keep your body and soul happy:

  1. Hire a personal trainer
  2. Hire a personal chef to make healthy gourmet meals
  3. Buy a rebounder and use it (my personal favorite exercise)
  4. Do a cleanse
  5. Train for a marathon/hike/bike event
  6. Go vegetarian
  7. Practice meditation every day for a month
  8. Replace your household products with non-toxic versions
  9. Get a massage
  10. Make kombucha

Get Busy in Your Community (Local or Global)

So many exciting things are happening in your community and around the world. Why not join in the fun? Here are some suggestions:

  1. Join a networking club
  2. Volunteer at a local non-profit organization
  3. Read or teach kids in a classroom or after school program
  4. Fund a Kiva loan
  5. March for a cause you’re passionate about
  6. Join a bowling league
  7. Help plant, weed, or harvest a community garden
  8. Invest your time and money on a volunteer vacation
  9. Join an art or acting guild
  10. Run for public office

Get Busy Going to Events

Each year hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of events are happening. Which ones have you always wanted to attend or participate in, yet never seem to fit into your schedule? Get out your calendar and make room for some of these events:

  1. Attend a hot air balloon festival
  2. Watch a live Broadway show
  3. Go to a professional sports game
  4. See the Northern Lights
  5. Attend a movie premier
  6. Watch the New Year’s Ball drop in Times Square
  7. Party in New Orlean’s at Mardi Gras
  8. Go to India for the Holi Festival (Festival of Colours)
  9. Attend a music festival such as Coachella or Glastonbury
  10. Shop at the Rose Bowl Flea Market

Get Busy Following Your Passion

Do you ever wonder what your life would be like if you had followed a different path? There is always time to explore your options and try new hobbies or a new career. Who knows, it might just open up your world to something wonderful. Consider these ways to follow your passion:

  1. Write and publish a book
  2. Commit to a new activity or hobby and document your progress like the movie Julie & Julia* or Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead*
  3. Change careers, even if that means going back to school to learn new skills
  4. Become a foster parent
  5. Mentor someone
  6. Start a business
  7. Start a blog or podcast
  8. Become an apprentice or intern for someone
  9. Get a license or certification based on your interests
  10. Hire a coach to help you discover your passions and take actions on your life purpose

Get Busy Facing Your Fears

Growth happens when you step outside your comfort zone. But if you don’t give yourself a little push, fear can creep in. So get out there and do something every day that scares you. These ideas can help:

  1. Go bungee jumping
  2. Go white water rafting
  3. Stay in a haunted house
  4. Get a tattoo
  5. Swim with sharks
  6. Ride a roller coaster
  7. Ask for a raise at work
  8. Pitch your products or services to a big company
  9. Go skinny dipping
  10. Go to the airport, choose a destination on the spot and fly there

Get Busy Doing Random Acts of Kindness

It feels good to do good. Here are some ways you can make a brighter day for someone else:

  1. Buy an extra meal at a restaurant and give it to someone in need
  2. Sponsor a chid in need via a reputable organization
  3. Send a friend or client a card in the mail, just because
  4. Pay for a person’s coffee, groceries, or gas
  5. Give an extra tip to your hairdresser, waiter or valet
  6. Smile at everyone you meet for at least one day
  7. Leave positive post-it notes in public places
  8. Write a genuine and positive comment on someone’s blog or social media page
  9. Allow another car to move in front of you
  10. Pick up garbage when you see it and throw it away without complaint

Get Busy Making Genuine Connections

True connections are made when you take the time to eliminate distractions and focus on the important people in your life. Following are some ideas you can connect with your loved ones for a more meaningful life:

  1. Put down and silence your phone during a conversation
  2. Knock on your neighbor’s door and ask what they might need (a ride, a cup of sugar, a second opinion, or a listening ear)
  3. Look in the mirror and declare your love for yourself
  4. Share a personal story with someone you trust
  5. Apologize and ask for forgiveness where needed
  6. Give your partner the benefit of the doubt
  7. Talk to someone at work you’ve never talked to before
  8. Write to someone who made a difference in your life and let them know
  9. Offer a hug to anyone you feel compelled to connect with
  10. Reach out to that person who pops into your head

Get Busy Changing Up Your Routine

When you do the same things day in and day out, it’s easy to miss the magical moments in life. When you disrupt your schedule, even just a little bit, you create an opening for new awareness. Here are some simple ways to change up your routine for a little more fun in your day:

  1. Take a different route to work or school
  2. Skip the Starbucks, save that money for 30 days and buy something fun at the end of the month
  3. Practice silence for 24, 48 or 72 hours
  4. Eat lunch in the park and then swing on the swings
  5. Buy yourself flowers
  6. Try a new, exotic food
  7. Be a tourist in your own city
  8. Rearrange your furniture
  9. Work standing up
  10. Try a new haircut or color

I recommend you buy a small notebook that you can keep handy in your purse or car. Go through this list and write down the items that speak to you. Start by doing at least one item on your list this week. You can do it by yourself or call a friend to join you. I guarantee the more you “get busy living” the more empowered and happy you will feel.

Which item(s) on this list do you want to try? Share your thoughts below!

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How to Find a Reason to Get Up in the Morning

Two days ago I watched one of those heart-warming, tear-jerking videos online. Let me give you a summary of the story because it illustrates my message for today.

The man in the story describes how, just five years ago he was overweight (340 pounds), unhappy, unhealthy, and felt so disconnected that he isolated himself from the world around him. An embarrassing incident prompted the man to hire a nutritionist and her first instruction for him was to adopt a pet from the local shelter. The point of this was to get the man more physically and socially active.

He visited the shelter and found a dog who appeared like himself, middle aged and overweight. Though their first few days together were awkward, the man and his new dog, Peety eventually formed an inseparable bond.  The unconditional love of this companion motivated the man to be a better person. He lost over 140 pounds and began running marathons. The dog’s health improved too. Ultimately they both saved each other and brought each other back to life again.

They gave each other a reason to get up in the morning.

I know how hard it can be to find the motivation to LIVE. I’ve suffered depression myself and some days (even recently) I have found myself  struggling to find my own reason to get up in the morning. So if you or someone you know can relate, I’ll share three ways to help you find your motivation so you can show up another day to live and breathe, feel like you have a purpose (because you do!) and find your joy again.

Three ways to get motivated about your life

The purpose of this list is to help you find at least one thing that inspires passion within you. Passion is one of the 7 Essentials for Vibrant Health and without it life can seem meaningless. In essence you want to embrace something that will give you something to look forward to.

1. Have a clear vision of your future. When you were a kid did you have a big dream about what it would like to be grown up and live the life you wanted to live? That’s the kind of clear vision that spurs you to show up and never give up. What is it that you would really, really like to do, be or have in the future. Spend some time letting yourself daydream about your vision and allow yourself to fully feel the excitement of achieving your goal.

2. Share yourself with another living soul. Humans are social creatures and we need to feel connected and valued in order to thrive. Surround yourself with at least one other person or animal with whom you can build a close bond. Find someone who cares about your happiness as much as you care about theirs. Caring for others motivates you to act with generosity and strive to be a better person.

3. Join a movement. Victor Hugo once said, “Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” What kind of activities or causes interest you the most? Do you love animals, have a penchant for quilting, or desire to help end world hunger? I can guarantee there is a meetup event, club, or volunteer organization dedicated to your interests. When you gather with likeminded people to focus on a singular idea, the collective energy expands and fills you with joy and satisfaction. Essentially you ride on the vision of the group and you begin caring about something greater than yourself.

Vibrant joyful living begins with you.

The good news is that every one of us desire’s meaning and deeper connection in life.  Reach out and ask your friends what reason they have for getting up in the morning. You might learn something new about your friend and it might help you create some motivation in your own life.

So let me ask you. What gets YOU up in the morning? Share in the comments below to inspire others.

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