I love this episdoe, it is full of vibrant conversation and insights about self care.
The downside is we had a glitch and couldn’t download it properly so the audio is not ideal but the content is great.
I love this episdoe, it is full of vibrant conversation and insights about self care.
The downside is we had a glitch and couldn’t download it properly so the audio is not ideal but the content is great.
It didn’t seem possible that I would be co-hosting a show. The idea seemed reserved only for those who were ‘discovered’ by media networks. I feel grateful that technology now allows anyone who has a dream and a message to have a chance to share it. I am pretty excited to be part of this with two other women (Morna Haist & Annie Pringle) whom I admire greatly.
We created this special show to talk about our inner worlds - what matters to us, what holds us back and how we can support each other in community.
This is episode one of Season One. I hope you enjoy it.
Likely when we make a mistake as an adult we tend to beat ourselves up. Our inner critic takes over and we bully and shame ourselves. Today, my daughter taught me a valuable lesson about making mistakes.
I asked her to paint me a welcome rock for our front door. When she finished her artistic creation, she called me over excited to share it. I noticed the beautiful colors and I asked her to tell me about the happy face.
"The first M didn't work out so I put m and e above and made a happy face." She said matter of factly.
That was the end of it. There was no bashing herself about the fact that her creation is ruined, or that she sucks at painting or that she should have planned out the letters better... blah blah blah.
She was thrilled there was now a happy face to welcome people. I stood there reflecting on how wise she is and how we all could take a lesson from her.
Let's allow our mistakes because they open up the possibility of beauty that would not have been there otherwise.
Mistakes are beautiful just like this painted rock with the M that became a happy face.
Bye for now!
What we focus on grows, and current research supports it. Our brain creates new neural connections with each thought and our thoughts serve as the foundation for our actions. Our thoughts create our reality, we have all heard this before.
One thing I don't think many people are talking about is the speed of our growth. I feel like there is a bit of impatience and frustration surrounding us. Just because we live in a time where information is on a superhighway doesn't mean our growth has to expand at the speed of light or sound. I think the statement may be more powerful like this:
What we focus on and take our time with grows.
I love trees. I think they are a beautiful metaphor for human experience. I like to think that our growth as people is like a tree. One exceptional ring at a time, rich with experiences and learning.
My invitation is to imagine you are a tree. Appreciate the rings you have already created and trust that more are coming. Stay in the moment and focus on moving forward with slow, focused attention and intention.
Bye for now,
I just came in from outside. I am exhausted but in a good way.
I was transplanting trees and as the sun was going down it occurred to me that our own growth and development is similar to transplanting a tree. We need certain ingredients in order to flourish into the best versions of ourselves.
Here are my 4 essential ingredients for personal growth inspired by my tree day.
We have a choice in life. We can wake up every day and do our best to experience the same things and think the same way or we can be curious and explore new experiences and ways of living. Without this willingness to be curious, we will not grow. Yawn.
You may not want to admit it but the only way to grow is to get honest with yourself and push the limits of your comfort zone. It is crucial to stretch ourselves and the only way to do this is to face reality head-on and take risks.
Nobody said growing was going to be easy! It takes commitment, energy, and effort. In my opinion, the effort is well worth it because the rewards of learning feel so good. Who doesn't LOVE a light bulb moment?
Just like effort, growing takes time. The spruce trees I planted today can live up to 200 years!!! They grow slow and so let's take a lesson from this. We don't have to grow fast, slow down and enjoy the journey! AND remember to take the time for your growth.
When we put all 4 of these ingredients together we get to experience awareness as our reward. Just like the rings of a tree, our awareness keeps moving outward... I love growth.
Bye for now!
Why the heck do I have a snail taped inside my cell phone case? Well, to make a very long story short actual snails and the image of snails have been showing up for me this month. It may seem like a coincidence to some, but for me, it is a clear sign that I am supposed to pay attention to slowing down.
What does the snail represent for me? Simply, SLOW, which by definition means not quick. I had to ask myself some tough questions since the snail seemed to be always there. Where? Well, I found one on a garbage lid in a park, a deck of cards I happened to be using one day had snail shells on them, my daughter's board game card (seen above) seemed to be left in different places in my house which I found 'randomly' throughout the month.
Ok, back to the honest questions I had to ask myself - what does it mean to be snail-like in my life? Yikes, I guess I haven't been. I started this business in 2015 determined to make it work and here we are in 2018 and a LOT has happened both professionally and personally. If I am honest, I wouldn't describe life right now as SLOW and it is quite clear I need to make some shifts if I am going to BE the person I strive so hard to BE.
So, I am back to the same question. What does it mean to be snail-like in my life? The answers have been slowly surfacing this week.
Here are my top 3 insights I have discovered:
1) Define SLOW
For those who have gone for a walk with me know that that my body is slow. I am a stroller by nature and often take my time physically. What I have noticed is my mind is not SLOW and therefore this is where the shift is required. My mind is like a rabbit. I am constantly thinking, feeling, analyzing, creating, puzzling... For me, slow means allowing my mind to rest and just BE.
I have decided to adopt a snail's mind lately - a conscious presence of the current moment. I realized that if my mind is not slow, I am not present and therefore I cannot access joy. hmm, I don't want that. I want more joy!
2) Do one thing at a time
This is connected to the rabbit mind... go, go, go. I have noticed that when I focus on what I am doing and make a conscious decision to do one thing in presence I feel so much better, less stressed and more joyful. Tip - give yourself double the amount of time you think it is going to take you.
I have also decided to schedule less and I am loving it.
3) The bullseye question
This question popped into my head one day when the rabbit was running away with my many thoughts. Kim, what are you missing right now by not being slow and present?
Ah crap, I was with my kids and instead of engaging with them I was in my head. This is not who I want to be. This question brought me back to slow and I continue to ask it when I feel the rabbit running around me trying to pressure me to get going and go, go, go.
I don't want to miss a thing! What is more important than the present moment? I was stumped, are you?
My hope is that this helps you to look at your own experience and what slowing down would mean for your life.
This is why I taped the board game card into my phone, to remind me not only to slow down but that the faster I go the more I risk missing.
Bye for now,
Fearing vulnerability is a belief system we have adopted as truth. We think that vulnerability equals risking our survival. When we take a moment and reflect on this doesn't it seem a bit ridiculous?
This is what I have discovered since exploring vulnerability this month. This belief doesn't fit or work for me anymore and I hope after you read this it doesn't fit for you either.
This is how I look at it. When we are at the vulnerability crossroads what appears in front of us are two doors (figurately, of course). One door leads us to the land of EMBRACE and one door leads us to the land of RESIST.
There is of course choice at every crossroads and behind each door. The beauty of this is I am not going to tell you what door is which. You get to decide that too. Who am I to define that right is resist or left is embrace or vise-versa. I did the work to figure out my doors and I now invite you to do the same.
What is true for me is that when I am completely open to vulnerability, I live fully.
Vulnerability is life and life is vulnerability.
I think it is worth the risk even if my brain and body believe I may risk dying. I have survived it all so far! I have created a new belief that vulnerability is not scary. Vulnerability is where beauty and connection live. This is a place I want to spend more time in.
Embrace or resist the choice is yours.
What door will you choose?
Bye for now,
I have been exploring vulnerability this March and I have learned two important things;
1) Stepping into vulnerability is only something to fear if we think there is something to fear. I am not afraid anymore of being vulnerable because it actually feels really good.
2) Everyone feels similar things especially around being vulnerable so I think it is time to just 'bungee jump' into it because the reality is we are all screaming with fear and excitement on this journey of life.
I like to keep things simple. Could I write paragraphs and paragraphs about how courage and vulnerability shows up in our lives? Of course, but why when 5 simple equations will make the point.
Courage + Vulnerability = Deep Connection with those that matter.
Courage + Vulnerability = passion for what matters
Courage + Vulnerability = Fully experiencing moments that matter
Courage + Vulnerability = Fully expressing who we are at our core
Courage + Vulnerability = Being true to who we are
Will there be risk? Yes, there will always be risk because:
Risk = Judgement from those who DON'T matter.
We need to ask ourselves... is having the courage to be vulnerable worth the risk?
Heck ya! The cost of not taking this risk is way too high.
With love, Kim
In order to create a balance of self care in our life it is crucial we invest time exploring and getting clear on what self care looks like in our life and what result we are intending to create.
It is easier to go the grocery store with a plan and a list then just showing up at the doors and hoping you get everything you need. Self care is exactly the same.
Here is a simple template you can use to help with this clarity...
Self care is one of my favorite topics because in my experience working with women it feels hard for them to take this crucial time for themselves. It seems they are weighed down with guilt, unworthiness, to do lists and expectations from others.
Sometimes all it takes is a simple mindset to put the importance of self care into perspective.
Here are 5 mindsets to consider if you feel weighed down by taking time for yourself:
1) Self love and self care is not selfish
Let's cut the word selfish from the dictionary. It has infiltrated our culture as a description for taking time for ourselves. It just isn't true. We NEED this time just as much as we NEED food and water to survive.
2) Vehicles need fuel and maintenance
We spend much time and money taking care of our cars and trucks to ensure they run efficiently and last a long time. Our bodies are a vehicle so let's give them the same care and attention. Here is the thing - if we don't have fuel, we don't run.
3) You breathe, you deserve
I often wonder who made up the deserving score card for self care... some people feel like they have to do certain things in life to deserve time for themselves. Let's scrap that belief and replace it with this one - If you breathe in and out, you deserve time for yourself. PERIOD!
4) Know what you need
One of the most crucial parts of self care is understanding what you need for fuel. It took me some time but I finally figured out that I need alone time to recharge. Even 5-10 minutes helps me get centered. I invite every one to get clear on what you need and then tell people WHY you need it. This will help with any backlash or feelings of wonder from family and friends. We are all unique so it makes sense that our self care regime will be as well.
5) Guilt is not an option
Feeling guilty for taking time and caring for yourself was not something you came up with on your own. It came from somewhere so therefore you can say 'no thank you' to that belief. Imagine if a car felt guilty that it needed gas... seems a bit ridiculous. Imagine if we felt guilty for needing a glass of water, sleep or food. Imagine if our kids felt guilty for asking for a snack or needing a nap or a cuddle ... would we guilt them? NO!
Try on these mindsets and take time for yourself. If you don't take care you won't be here and I am sure you want to be here as long as you can.
To love with a whole heart = being in each moment fully and feeling whatever is there whether it is immense joy or immense pain. To be with others fully and be with them while they are feeling immense joy or immense pain.
To love with a whole heart = being willing to be in all of it, all of the time.
To ride of ocean waves with grace and accept the ying and yang of life for all of its beauty, learning and storms.
This is my definition. What is yours?
In February, we typically only focus on the 14th but I think we could take this whole month to nurture LOVE in all its forms.
Let's start with the LOVE of FAMILY. Nobody ever said family dynamics was easy, however I have heard over and over that the best things in life are the experiences that include ups and downs.
Here are 5 mindsets that keep the focus on what matters when it comes to family:
1) Keep Connected
Investing time and energy into the relationships that matter most to us will always pay us back. When our bonds are strong most often we can survive the storms that may come our way. Every family has its drama and what I have experienced and witnessed is we can come together as a powerful unified family if we are willing to see each other and connect eye to eye.
2) Support Each Other
There are times I haven't agreed with those in my family, however I always come to the same conclusion. I will support you no matter what and I know I will get the same back. When I come from a place of respect and acceptance it most certainty serves me better than trying to will a different outcome. We are all capable humans with the ability to make a choice. I support choices even if I don't necessarily understand them.
3) Set Boundaries
I have learned that it is ok to set boundaries and stick to them. Putting our well-being first is not selfish, it is a necessary part of honoring our unique needs. I think each person has a right to set boundaries even though sometimes it may be difficult. Boundaries is LOVE.
4) Come from Compassion
None of us is perfect. I believe that everyone is doing the best they can with what they know. I have learned that I have to decide who I want to be when interacting with all people including my family. Do I want to approach situations from a place of contempt or a place of compassion. Choosing compassion always ends up being the best choice because it aligns with who I am.
5) Give each other space to grow
Who am I to determine where you 'should' be on your journey. I have learned that if I believe that we are all here for a purpose, here to learn something then who am I to get in the way of that. I am learning to let people be where they are at, without judgement or scorn. To LOVE and ACCEPT and SUPPORT is what I strive for.
What is it about the word JOY that has captivated us?
I think it represents a state of being that although can feel fleeting is an experience we all want more of. A soothing, all encompassing fill up of what matters. A simple, yet powerful little word that tends to light up the dark.... Oh JOY!
Much like a garden, we do have the capability to grow more joy in our life. Here are 4 simple tips that with a little awareness and care joy can flourish.
1) Be Grateful
When we stop and take inventory of what we are grateful for we connect to what matters in our life which automatically triggers joy. Gratitude and joy go together just like peanut butter and chocolate... hmmm chocolate, another Joy! The more time you invest in gratitude, the more you will feel joy.
2) Be Aware
We are surrounded by wonder all we have to do is look up and notice. There is a reason why the statement 'stop and smell the roses' is a classic. Just stop, notice and experience the joy of all that life has to offer us.
3) Be in Laughter
Who doesn't love a good joke, an adorable animal video or goofy children to bring a smile to our face. Joy can come in so many forms but I think laughter is to be enjoyed more often, don't you agree.
4) Be Simple
Have you heard this before: the simple life, is a joyful life. The joy of simplicity is difficult to describe without actually experiencing it. All you have to do is clean out your junk drawer and then notice the joy spread. Clutter blocks joy.
5 statements that remind me that simple is best.
1) Remove unnecessary things and thoughts opens up space for joy.
2) Ask yourself first for the answer. Opinions complicate things.
3) Having an abundant life is measured by experiences that activate our soul.
4) People are more important that stuff.
5) Come from LOVE. Always.
Let's keep things simple so we can access more presence, more joy and more of what matters.
I love this observation from a past study – “We don’t laugh because we are happy, we’re happy because we laugh.” – W. James (1842-1910)
There has been much research around why we laugh and what the benefits are but what is really interesting is that researchers are having trouble proving it. Laughing is subjective and although areas of our brains light up there are still more questions than answers.
Maybe in this case we just need to trust that there is a deeper reason and enjoy the joy of laughing. The one thing researchers do know for sure is that laughing together helps us to bond and strengthens our relationships. I am sure we can all think of an example where laughter brought us together. I have many examples of work pressures lightening because of laughing with co-workers and even in the throws of grief laughter seemed to bring much needed moments of lightness in a dark time. All that matters to me is that it feels really good so why wouldn’t we focus on creating more moments of laughter in our life.
As I reflect on the importance of laughter it is quite clear that laughter lightens. The weight of stress, fear, doubt and worry seem to melt away in the throws of an uncontrollable, snorting laugh! Here are my 5 tips to creating more laughs in our life:
Our universe is always in the pursuit of balance – for example light/dark, cold/hot, ying/yang There is always two sides and we can access the lighter side of things by asking ourselves a simple question – What is the lighter side of this? Perspective can snap us back into reality as most situations aren’t as serious as we make them out to be. I realize that some circumstances we are required to sit in the dark and that is ok but I do think the majority of situations can be lighter by giving ourselves permission to not take life so seriously.
My experience is that the more aware we are about what is happening in our body, mind and spirit the more we are able to access what really matters in life. Creating more awareness is training yourself to notice in the moment. A simple exercise you can practice is watch a funny video, one you know you will laugh at and then after take a moment to reflect on what you felt in your body, what was happening in your mind and how your spiritual self feels. When we take time to reflect on our experience, we tend to want to repeat it, especially if it feels good.
There is a running joke in our family that we don’t need an audience because our own jokes make us laugh. What a gift to be able to laugh at ourselves and our experiences. It is such an empowering feeling to know that we can find humor all by ourselves. I have a joke I can say anytime to myself and laugh. Take a moment and reflect on the moments when you laugh at you. What makes you funny?
If you want an easy tool to turn to when you need a boost of joy, then take a moment to get clarity on what makes you laugh and why? Who do you admire that is funny? Why? Understanding your humor blueprint will offer you go to resources when you need. I have no doubt this is why video, GIF’s and images on social media have exploded because we all desire a good laugh. For me, kids and animals always bring a smile to my face. What’s yours?
Laughter --- Joy --- Presence --- Wholehearted Living
Like a flower in the garden, the more we water it, the more it will grow. Water the laughter.
Here are a couple articles to check out:
Join me on Facebook or my new group: Wholehearted Living
Want to have more JOY in your life? The solution to increasing your joy is to practice being more aware. Let’s be honest with ourselves, we can go through an entire day on autopilot and yes we may get things done but are we joyful? I would argue that when we are not aware we cannot access much joy.
Noticing the subtleties in life and having those ‘light-bulb moments' throughout our day where we expand our thinking is where joy lives. Maya Angelou was and still is a great teacher of awareness. One of my favorite quotes is “Do your best until you know better and then when you know better, do better.” The desire to do better keeps curiosity at the forefront and with curiosity has to come awareness. Being more aware is the key to a fulfilled and joyful life. Each and every time I get to witness the spark of a new thought with my clients, I can see and feel the joy of it. The widening of their eyes, the childlike curiosity, the wonder and excitement of discovering a new way of thinking. I can’t help but smile and either can they.
So the question becomes… HOW? How can we BE more aware in life? Well, it starts with a desire to want to do better and with a little curiosity and some effort awareness can become like riding a bike… automatic.
Here are 5 ways to increase your awareness:
When we have an understanding about how our mind works it offers us an opportunity to notice what is happening and gives us the ability to make choices in the moment. A little bit of understanding can give us great power over our reality.
Recommendation: Here is a 4 part article series on the conscious and unconscious mind. A great way to increase your awareness of our amazing brains: http://www.mindset-habits.com/conscious-subconscious-unconscious-mind/
A learning brain is an aware brain. With each new thing we learn we create a new neuropathway. Learning keeps our brains awake and with each new discovery or 'light-bulb moment' the amount of time we are aware grows. We see the world differently because our brain is a physically different.
Recommendation: Read a book that inspires new ways of thinking.
My top pick – Daring Greatly by Brene Brown.
It is wonderful to learn something new but if you don’t use it, you lose it. It takes time and effort to change, so it is up to you to repeat the behaviors you want to grow. Think of growing awareness like growing a muscle in your body. You have to work it out.
Recommendation: Take time each day to consciously stop and notice your surroundings.
My top pick – The 5 senses activity which can help you relieve stress but it can also bring you quickly into the present.
Each time we ask ourselves a question it sparks curiosity and exploration. This then leads into discussion and hopefully a new perspective, learning or even the joyful ‘light bulb moment.' I don’t believe we can be on autopilot when we are in the wonder of questions. Our brain wakes up…well mine does anyways!
Recommendation – Take time each day to ask yourself open ended questions (what, where, when, why, how).
My top pick- The 3 Why exercise – notice something and ask yourself why 3 times. For example – I feel good today… WHY? I got up early and took some time to journal…. WHY? It is important to me to take time for myself… WHY? When I take time for myself it builds my resilience for the day.
It is important to explore what it means to be you. This is the key to building lasting awareness because when you link it to what matters to you it tends to last. Typically, we invest in the things that matter to us most.
Recommendation – invest in assessments and programs that give you insight into what makes you uniquely you!
My top pick – This is the values assessment I use with my clients (It is called: VIA Survey of Character Strengths and it is under the questionnaires section).
If you are looking for a deeper connection with yourself learn more about my weekend retreat where you immerse yourself in discovering who you are. An entire awareness weekend! www.kimstandeven.com/workshops
If you are someone who loves to learn and grow join me in my new group: Wholehearted Living: Experience, Explore, Expand
If you would like to have a FREE discovery call with me about growing your awareness schedule some time with me.
Have an amazingly aware day!