Sep 182014
 


Happy Anniversary I Simply Am Listeners! Just before releasing this latest episode I realized it’s been one whole year! We’ve all been through a lot in the last year and I’m so grateful you have allowed me to share my life and my messages with you! The show has been downloaded more than 80,000 times in 99 countries across the world.

I am so appreciative for each and every one of you! In this weeks episode I share with you what a “come clean” is and then dive into 2 listener questions.

Andre wrote me from Twitter and asked:

I want to meet new people and just be happy with who I am. I want to learn how to accept myself. Can you help?

Tracy wrote in from Facebook and asked:

What do I do about my trust issues? I’ve been in a long-term relationship and don’t trust my partner. I think this mistrust is coming from my past relationships and I’m making my current partner pay. What do I do?

Listen in to see how I responded to both Andre and Tracy. Feel free to leave a comment and let me know how you would have responded.

Big Hugs!

Want to live the BEST version of YOU!? Take the FREE 5 Day Self Love Challenge and start living the life you want today!

Sep 082014
 

The easy answer to the question, “Why haven’t you written or podcast for the last 2 months?” would be it was summer break. Of course that sounds great but that wasn’t exactly why.

In this come back podcast I share the honest and personal truth about where I’ve been and what all those big changes really meant. You’ll hear about all this and more in this weeks episode.

  • What changes have occurred in my life
  • Why I stopped writing and podcasting
  • How big change affects our lives
  • How you can be sure to stay on track even when big change happens to you
  • What change really says and doesn’t say about you

Next week we’ll be back on track with our weekly episodes. If you’d like any question or concern answered on the podcast email me at Josh at I simply dot am or leave a comment on this post.

Big Hugs!

Want to live the BEST version of YOU!? Take the FREE 5 Day Self Love Challenge and start living the life you want today!

Jun 092014
 

Stigma_Fighters

Make sure to listen to this weeks podcast and subscribe on iTunes to get automatic and free updates right to your smartphone!

We all know what it’s like to be around people who really matter to us and we also know what it’s like to be by ourselves. Unfortunately, it’s all too often when things aren’t going well in our lives that our first instinct is to retreat and isolate.

Of course the problem with isolating without the support of others is that we do it when we need support the most. To make matters even worse, in addition to the uncomfortable feelings we feel (the ones that sent us into isolation) we then have shame on the back end. In other words, we often times feel guilty (it’s actually shame) or ashamed for having those feelings in the first place. That shame sets up what we call a shame-bind. The bind is that we feel “bad” and then feel shame and the shame keeps us feeling bad and the feeling bad keeps us feeling shame. A crazy cycle, I know!

Well my friend Sarah Fader is doing everything she can to help contradict this vicious cycle. Specifically, she’s helping those that are challenged by mental health disorders. It’s hard enough when we’re experiencing big feelings and we go and isolate but what about those that suffer from even more severe and often repetitive disorders?

There’s a stigma with having a mental health disorder and it strengthens the barrier between isolation and community. It also strengthens that shame-bind I talked about. It’s a whopping combination of isolation and shame and it leaves no relief for those that need it the most.

This is why Sarah, who also suffers from Panic Attacks, has created a Not-for-profit Organization called Stigma Fighters. Sarah’s mission is to give those that suffer from mental illness a voice and a place to call home. Sarah’s planning to travel to Colleges and Universities around the Country to create Stigma Fighter Chapters. It’s an amazing cause and one that I certainly stand behind. It’s exactly why I wanted you all to hear about it.

You may not suffer from mental illness yourself but you likely know someone who does. You certainly know what that isolation and shame feels like and here’s an opportunity for us to all do something about it. Sarah is running a fundraising campaign to help support this incredible cause. There’s not a whole lot of time left for this fundraising effort so now is the time to help.

If you’d like to donate to Sarah’s cause visit her FundDreamer site by clicking here!

To find out more about Sarah and Stigma Fighters you can visit her site by clicking here!

 

Want to live the BEST version of YOU!? Take the FREE 5 Day Self Love Challenge and start living the life you want today!

May 212014
 

ISA33_Self_Forgiveness

Over the last week or two I heard from several people asking me to talk about Self Forgiveness. While I have done a few episodes of the podcast on forgiveness they were primarily focused on forgiving others.

Yet, forgiving ourselves is quite possibly the best gift we could give ourselves. It’s my hope that by the end of this podcast that you’ll have an even deeper understanding of the following:

  • How harmful it is to not forgive yourself
  • How self hatred plays into it
  • The 7-step process for forgiving yourself

We all make mistakes every day. Some of them are pretty minor and others aren’t but one thing for certain is that we can be really cruel to ourselves. Often times we’re much harder on ourselves than the people we’ve wronged. So why is this?

Shame is a sticky and toxic thing and we carry it around deep in our psyche. From a young age, likely around 5 – 7, we started getting messages that we weren’t enough. Whether it was that we weren’t beautiful enough, smart enough, good enough, or fill in your favorite “not enough”.

These messages started coming in so often that we took them in as our own. Fast forward 20, 30, 40 years and those same messages are still there! When we make a mistake shame takes the opportunity to stick to any guilt we feel! As soon as we make a mistake those same old messages of not being enough creep right back in and shame is there to finish us off!

Once this happens the mistake we made goes from something we did wrong to the horrible person we are. But aren’t we allowed to make mistakes? Shouldn’t we be a little less harsh with ourselves? Isn’t it harmful to carry around all this shame with us? YES! YES! and YES!

Listen to today’s podcast where I share a mistake I made when I laughed at my son!

So what should happen when we make a mistake?

Well, if we’re not going to allow shame to take over us, stay in the present, and be mindful about our life the following would likely happen.

1. Make a mistake

2. Acknowledge that we made a mistake

3. Feel guilt

4. Look for ways to make amends

5. Allow guilt to drift away as we continue to love ourselves

Sounds great, huh? Yeah, doesn’t usually work that way right?

Usually it looks something like this…

1. Make a mistake

2. Acknowledge we made a mistake

3. Feel guilt

4. Look for ways to make amends

5. Berate and self-shame ourselves by saying how horrible we are and what failures we are

6. Guilt turns into shame

7. Isolate and go into hyper-sensitivity mode in the future as to try and avoid those situations reminding ourselves we suck

8. Likely attract more situations in our life that remind us how not enough we are and the cycle continues

It actually looks a little worse than this but I was going easy on you! LOL As you can see, it’s a viscous cycle that doesn’t have a pretty ending. This is why shame = self hatred.

We love ourselves by giving ourselves what David Richo calls, “The Five A’s” (Attention, Acceptance, Allowance, Appreciation, and Affection). How much loving attention are you giving yourself when you focus on your lack and how horrible you are? How are you accepting yourself by telling yourself you are a horrible person? How are you allowing for your fallible nature when you call yourself a screw up? How are you appreciating yourself when you call yourself an idiot? How are you giving yourself affection when you emotionally abuse yourself?

As you can see, when we make mistakes and don’t forgive ourselves, it’s called Self Hatred. It sounds harsh but it’s the antithesis of loving ourselves! Seems pretty clear to me and I’m guessing you’d agree that self hatred isn’t exactly what’s going to take your life or my life to the next level, right?

So I think we all agree we need to forgive ourselves but how??

I go into these 7 steps in much more detail in the podcast and it’s only 36 minutes long (you can listen to it while you’re driving, doing the dishes, jogging, or laying in bed)! Listen here on iTunes! But let me give you a quick run down of those 7 steps right now.

1. Accept that I am fallible. It’s your right as a human to make mistakes! To deny your fallibility is to deny your wholeness.  Stop abandoning yourself and rejecting yourself when you make mistakes! You have a right to make mistakes! This is a very important step.

2. Choose to live in the present. Guilt is a present time feeling. Shame is a feeling that was born in the past. When we make mistakes it’s okay to feel guilty. Feel the guilt and then let that guilt turn into compassion (our next step). When that guilt turns to shame (i.e.; I’m not enough) is when we have serious problems.

3. Be compassionate towards ourselves. We talk about compassion for others but what about ourselves? Decide you’re not going to beat yourself up anymore. Let that guilt turn into compassion for yourself. Acknowledging you made a mistake and that you’re experiencing pain as well. Gently carry yourself to make amends and restore what is right but do it with self compassion.

4. Understand how shame works. We’re taught that we’re not enough from a young age. Shame is sticky and finds anything to attach to. Make a mistake? Shame sticks to it reminding you that you’re a screw up, not good enough, and need to pay for that. Remind yourself that shame is always present in our lives but that you have a choice to let it in. The moment you see yourself talking about not being enough shut it down! Acknowledge this is crap from the past that just isn’t true.

5. Be aware of the difference between guilt and shame. It’s okay to feel that present-time feeling of guilt. It means that you care and that you acknowledge you hurt someone. Stay in the present though and notice if you go back to the past – back to that place of shame. Know the difference so you can stay present!

6. It’s a practice Yes, you will screw up forgiving yourself! :) That’s okay, just forgive yourself for not forgiving yourself! :) This is a practice and will take time. Know that you’re not going to get this right the first time. Keep at it and practice!

7. Get Support Find a close friend or relative who will listen. Shame loves isolation so get it out and just share what’s happening with you.

I hope you find these 7-steps helpful as you move throughout your day and your week. You can use this process with a simple and benign mistake or one that’s pretty serious. Either way, your ability to show up in full and live the life you want is going to be directly impacted by how mindful and self-loving you are.

So, I want to hear from you! Let me know what recent mistake you made and how you’re going to implement this process or another one that works for you!

 

May 152014
 

ISA32_Peace

Not everyone can be perfect like us, riiiiiight??

All kidding aside, we have people in our lives that just get under our skin for one reason or another. It might be the way they talk to us, what their views on life are, or that they are judgmental or only think about themselves.

Whatever the reason, it’s an awful feeling inside to have to be around them. Sometimes we can help being around them and other times we cannot. We might try and change them but it seems like we’re just beating our heads against a wall.

At the end of the day and no matter what we do it just seems like we can’t escape the frustration, anger, and annoyance of being around them. Clearly there’s got to be a better way around this and fortunately there is! In today’s podcast I’m going to show you 4 ways (I’ll share the 4th way in the podcast!) to be at peace with anyone (especially those that bug us)!

Listen right now to the podcast and make sure you subscribe so new episodes will come to you automatically!

1. Spend Less Time With Them

This might seem like an obvious thing to do but often times we wind up being with them out of guilt or because we think we “have to be with them”. I find myself in this situation from time to time with certain family members. On the one hand I prefer to not be with them (for whatever reason) but there’s that obligation (or at least perceived obligation).

However, we have a bigger obligation and that’s an obligation to ourselves. Saying No to being around someone that doesn’t treat us well is saying Yes to ourselves. Instead of looking at it as rejecting that person, look at it as accepting yourself! You don’t even have to make up any stories about not seeing them. Simply tell them, “today isn’t going to work out for me.”.

Spending less time with them will give you the breathing room you need. Sometimes there is no getting away from certain people but the next time you do it simply out of obligation ask yourself who’s obligation you’re meeting.

2. Find The Peace You Seek In Yourself

One recent morning I came to realize the following:

The peace we seek in trying to change another is actually found in letting them be. [Tweet This!]

I realized that all of my attention was focused on changing someone that annoyed the heck out of me! My feelings would get the best of me and I would act passive aggressive, sarcastic, and could feel the tension in my body when I was around them.

In all my efforts to try and get this person to change their ways and see things my way I would be the one left feeling deflated, defeated, and plain old tired! It was exhausting yet I still wanted to be with this person I loved.

Then it occurred to me – I didn’t need to make them change. I could generate the peace I was looking for all on my own. I simply needed to let that person be who they were. Does that mean I have to let them be rude to me? No. Does that mean I need to agree with everything they say? No. What it does mean is that I get to be separate from who they are. I get to let them have their own reality with all of their own thoughts and feelings and still just be with them.

Just like what they say, think or do has no reflection on who they are – what they say, think or do has no reflection on who I am. Once I found this ability to detach in this way I was able to be with them. It brought me great peace. Does that mean I’m going to go out of my way to be with them? No, but it means that when I do decide to be with them I can do so in peace.

3. Find Compassion in The Absence of Judgement

It’s easy to judge another person. In fact, it’s so easy that we don’t even realize when we’re doing it the vast majority of the time. There are many things we can take as issue with judging another but probably the most important is that we actually wind up abandoning ourselves.

How’s that? Well, at the core of our nature is compassion. We can’t have compassion when we judge another so we’re literally shutting part of ourselves down to do this. Not only is expressing compassion in our nature but it allows us to see the goodness in others, even when they can’t. It allows us to serve them in a time when they are likely suffering greatly. It also allows us to have a gentle, tender, and loving place for ourselves in the whole process.

Judging another does nothing to help support that person, it doesn’t allow us to see who they truly are, and it leaves us feeling uncomfortable and in unrest.

Listen to the podcast now to hear a 4th tip you can use to help be at peace with anyone!

This isn’t an easy process and it does take practice but isn’t that the cool part about life, that we can practice? Life isn’t about getting it right all the time. However, if we have the right tools to be mindful about what’s happening inside of ourselves than we can choose the best way to respond.

Want to live the BEST version of YOU!? Take the FREE 5 Day Self Love Challenge and start living the life you want today!

May 052014
 

ISA31_Art

If you’ve been following my weekly podcasts you might have noticed that I took a bit of an unplanned hiatus for the last 2 weeks. I say “unplanned” because I truly wanted and had intentions of podcasting but that just didn’t happen.

I wound up traveling for about 2 weeks, which I knew about, and fell into a little slump. Ever have those times when you’re chugging along and then “BUMP”, you get thrown off track? Well, that’s exactly what happened to me.

If I had to describe a visual it was like I was going along my well paved path and the hit a big bump in the road that threw me off. I was still on a path headed in the right direction, even a parallel path, but this path was a bumpy dirt road with a lot of dust. I could see “the path” I bounced off of but all the dust was clouding my vision and couldn’t find a quick way back.

If you’re not into visuals, let’s just say I fell into a little funk! In fact, I even went back and checked out episode 19 where I talked about 5 ways to get out of the funk! It definitely helped!

Although, some other things were going on for me and I decided to be patient and allowing. Mindfulness has this way of taking you on a ride that might not look all pretty and clean like the ride your ego wants to take you on. Well, just as I settled into my feelings and patience I came across 3 messages that really resonated for me.

I found these messages all within a day or two of each other and they really spoke to me. Whether or not you’re bouncing down your own dirt path I think you’ll find these just as helpful!

The first message came from a personal friend of mine, Kevin Smith. Kevin posted this on his Facebook page and gave me permission to use it here. Here’s what Kevin had to say:

“Some things take a long time to ripen.

Earlier this month, on my drive home from Los Angeles, following my trip to Iowa City, I stopped at a small farm stand on Highway 46 and bought two avocados. I would’ve bought more, but no one was around. Sales were on the honor system, and all I had was a couple twenty-dollar bills and a bunch of quarters. So I put eight quarters in a little metal slot and took home two avocados.

They were hard as stones. Weeks passed, and they did not soften. Each morning I would press, hopefully, on the shiny, still hard green skin, and wonder if these avocados had been picked prematurely.

You know where this is going. Oh, they were so good! Nearly a month after buying them, I enjoyed the kind of delicious avocado I never find in stores, with a wild, rich flavor and a densely satisfying texture–almost meaty.

I bring this up because it was a good reminder to me that some things take a long time–or what feels like a long time, but may be just the right amount of time–to ripen.”

Listen to this weeks podcast to hear all my take-a-ways but in short this is what I learned:

1. Nature happens on our time. It’s not our job to determine when it happens but rather to notice when it does.

2. Keep pushing even when it seems it’s just not working. Just past the point of defeat is where you’ll find the gold.

3. Expectations can be a wonderful thing. Yet there are times when it’s not reality that needs changing but our expectations of it that does.

Thank you Kevin for helping me see this! You can find more about Kevin at his blog, www.ckevinsmith.com

Shortly after reading Kevin’s post I came across another friend of mine, Jodi Chapman. Jodi writes about spirituality, self love, and mindfulness and I also encourage you to check her site out  or over on Facebook. So here’s what Jodi posted and what I took away.

“I’m remembering that I am human, that there are a finite amount of hours in the day, and that everything is happening in perfect timing. I’m no longer okay with pushing myself so hard and striving for perfection. Those days are in the past and need not make their way into the present. I’m wrapping myself in a loving embrace and am choosing to move through life with love and grace.” 

1. Beating myself up to meet my own self-conceived expectations isn’t working for me anymore.

2. Right now is the present and I don’t need to allow my past responses to life to make their way back in.

3. I often forget about grace and am acknowledging that I am grace and that self expression of grace will carry me through those challenging times.

To listen to my full response on Jodi’s update and what I’m really taking away listen to this weeks podcast.

Below is the last quote I want to share with you and it came from an Author I just learned about, Henri Nouwen.

Losing and Gaining Our Lives

“The great paradox of life is that those who lose their lives will gain them. This paradox becomes visible in very ordinary situations.
If we cling to our friends, we may lose them, but when we are non-possessive in our relationships, we will make many friends.
When fame is what we seek and desire, it often vanishes as soon as we acquire it, but when we have no need to be known, we might be remembered long after our deaths.
When we want to be in the center, we easily end up on the margins, but when we are free enough to be wherever we must be, we find ourselves often in the center.
Giving away our lives for others is the greatest of all human arts. This will gain us our lives.”

Here’s what I took away from this powerful message shared by Henri Nouwen:

1. Life isn’t about choosing one side and forgetting about the other, it’s about appreciating both.

2. Keep focus on our intention and allow whatever outcome to present itself. For focusing on the outcome is what ultimately kills our intentions and kills our dreams.

3. I want to act non-posssessive. I want to act without expectation of fame. I want to be free. I want to give away.

I hope these messages resonated for you, as they have for me. What quotes or messages have you read lately that have made a difference? Please let me know!

Want to live the BEST version of YOU!? Take the FREE 5 Day Self Love Challenge and start living the life you want today!

Apr 142014
 

ISA30 

Today, I am going to answer a listener’s question and then I’m going to talk about why there are no bad people. Specifically I’m going to show you the benefits of seeing the good in others and how to do it.

Adrian Toro wrote in to ask: What is good pride? What is bad pride? When is pride healthy and when does it weigh us down? When we’re prideful are we walking away from resolving our issues? Are we disguising our prideful emotions by telling ourselves we deserve better?

I’m going to do my best to answer his questions this way:

For the purposes of this conversation there are two types of pride. There is pride of the ego (arrogance) and pride of the true self (love). So what exactly do I mean by pride of the ego? Well, our ego shows up when we forget who we are. Our ego has good intentions but unfortunately it’s even more confused than we are.

Our ego doesn’t know any better (poor little ego) so it tells us that who we are is wrapped up in everything external to us. It leads us to believe that what we buy, we what own, what we achieve, what money we make, what positions we have, what friends we have, and even what we look like determines our value. So, we sometimes carry this false sense of pride, the ego pride, as a means to either convince ourselves that we’re enough based on all these things or because someone has challenged us.

Ego Pride is usually expressed outwardly and often comes across as arrogance and/or bragging. You’ll know if the pride you feel is ego pride if you express it and then feel a little empty or not whole afterwards. Usually that expression of pride is more about proving to others that you are valuable and enough and less about actually celebrating that you just are enough.

On the contrary, pride of the true self is natural, not boastful and leaves one feeling fulfilled. There’s a lot to be proud about when it comes to our true self! After all, each of us is intelligent, beautiful, thoughtful, valuable, whole, and enough. That’s a lot to be proud about.

Pride of the true self never has a compare function in the equation. It’s never about being better than or less than anyone else. Pride of the true self is about appreciating what is true and never changing – who we really are.

I go into more detail in the podcast so please click here to listen now!

Why There Are No Bad People and How To See The Good In Others

“Bad” is a judgement used to describe characteristics of something that changes. You do not change therefore you literally can’t be judged. What I’m talking about is that non-changing constant part of you. Yes, there are parts of you that change like your hair, your skin, your fitness, your health, your personality, etc. If you took the 10-year old version of you as compared to today (assuming you’re now older than 17) every cell in your body would literally have changed. Yet, you are still the same you, right? Well, that’s the non-changing part of you that I’m talking about. That is the part that cannot be judged as it simply is what it is.

The same non-changing core of you (call it your soul, spirit, inherent nature…whatever) is the same non-changing one in everyone else you see. Anything covering that up is the cause of built up scarring from abuse, trauma, pain, hurt, lies, and fear. So, when we take this approach we can begin to see people for who they truly are and not for who they want us to believe they are.

We see others as a reflection of how we see ourselves. It’s very hard to see that authentic self of another if we’re not aware of our own authentic self (that non-changing part of us). So we our ability to see others is limited by how much of ourselves we’re able to see. The more you become aware of that internal goodness, wholeness, enoughness in you the more aware you’ll become of that goodness, wholeness and enoughness in others.

When we see what’s true about others we come from a place of non-judgement, we are self-secure, we allow ourselves to be open to who others are, not how they want us to see them, and we can learn so much more about who they are. When people are not aware of their true self they were masks to disguise themselves. With that mask on they may look like they have the best life in the world or they may look like they have the worst life in the world. In both cases, they are covering up their true self because they just aren’t aware of what that is. But you have a choice whether you want to see them as their mask or as their true self.

If we accept (refer to last weeks podcast) we can see that (who we are) we are not what we think, what we feel, or what we do. So, if we are not what we do, if our true self can’t be judged, and given everything else we just discussed then it must mean only one thing. There are no bad people only good people that do bad things. And if we accept this as being true and we can appreciate why seeing others as “bad” is actually harmful for both them and us then we can take steps to change that.

How do we see the good in others?

1. Separate what they do, think or say, from who they are (good people do bad things).
2. Look for things in people you may have judged in the past and instead focus on what is true about them.
3. Accept the goodness in you so that you can accept the goodness in others and vice versa.

If there’s one thing I can promise you it’s this. The more you start accepting yourself for who you truly are, the more you’ll start accepting everyone else for who they truly are. And when that acceptance turns into allowance (meaning you’re going to allow yourself and others to be that truth) miracles will happen.

I would be so grateful to you if you left me a written review on iTunes. Simply click here and click on the “view in iTunes” button, then the “ratings and review” tab and “write a review”. It will help the show be noticed by other like-minded individuals.

Want to live the BEST version of YOU!? Take the FREE 5 Day Self Love Challenge and start living the life you want today!

Apr 072014
 

ISA29_Single_Most_Important_Thing 

In this weeks episode I share the single most important thing you need to know! So what’s this all about? Well, in this episode I thought it was important to share what I consider to be the fundamentals and the foundation of self-awareness. Why is this important?

Well we all want to be happy, right? We all want to have the opportunity to find our purpose in life and live out our passions. We want to love and be loved by others and we want to know that at the end of our lives we’ve made a difference in this world. Did I sum that up pretty well? I know this holds true for me and I can imagine that’s true for you as well. So how come we have so much trouble doing this?

Often times we point back to not having enough Self Love. The easy way to know that is by looking at the opposite effect which is self hatred. If you hate yourself you’re not going to be happy, you likely have no idea what your purpose is – in fact, you probably think  (incorrectly so) that there isn’t a purpose for you, there probably aren’t a lot of healthy and loving relationships and it’s going to be really hard to contribute to the world as you were intended.

If we know that self hatred leads down a dark path that many of us are and have experienced – by the way I certainly have most of my life – then self love must take us down the other path. I think that’s pretty clear and I haven’t heard too many people make the argument for hating yourself to reach enlightenment.

The problem is you can’t just start loving yourself. In fact, before you love yourself there’s actually one additional element and that is the foundation of all of this and all of life (well your life anyway). That foundation is called Self Awareness. You can’t love yourself if you have no idea who the heck you are, right? In fact, this is probably the most common question asked among all age groups, genders, cultures, ethnicities, races, religions, etc. More specifically the question, “Who Am I?”. This is exactly why I created this podcast to help answer that question. And to answer that question we need to understand who we are.

I love talking about the topic and in fact if I had to present somewhere (hint, hint…if you’re looking for a speaker EMAIL ME!) it would definitely be about this or at least incorporate this.

The one thing that you probably don’t tell yourself that you should start is this…

“I am NOT what I think, what I feel, or what I do.”

So what does that mean exactly? Well, first you should be listening to the podcast. I go into much more detail on the show and I really think you’re going to benefit by hearing my thoughts on this as this post will quickly turn into a book! Hey, there’s an idea! ;)

Let me give you the quick version though and then when you have 40 minutes you’re washing dishes, exercising, driving, or running errands go listen to the podcast.

I am not what I think.

So why is this true? Well, your thoughts if they are anything like mine are all over the place. From fantasies to day dreaming to thinking about worst case scenario to telling ourselves we aren’t good enough. Our thoughts leave our brains just as quickly as they come in. How could who we are be based on something that just flies in and out and changes from one second to the next?

More importantly, if you stop long enough you’ll notice that there are actual gaps in between our thoughts. True, it might be a fraction of a nano-second but there are gaps in between our thoughts. A brief period of time where we literally aren’t having a thought. In those moments, you still exist, right? Of course you do! It’s not like if you can meditate and not have a thought for 7 seconds that you somehow get teleported to some foreign planet right?

So clearly we are not our thoughts. If this is the case then we can stop BEING not good enough, not smart enough, and not attractive enough. Because, clearly those are thoughts we have and we are not our thoughts. So the next time you have a thought that you are not enough, simply notice that you are having that thought and then go and respond based on WHO YOU ARE and not on what you are thinking in that given moment.

I am not what I feel.

Everything I just said about thoughts holds true for feelings. We’ll be happy one moment and pissed off or scared to death 2 seconds later. What’s up with that? Well, those are just feelings! Yes, feelings are important and they can tell us a lot about what’s going on in our world.

All too often we confuse who we are with how we feel. We feel lonely and we become alone. We feel anxious and we become an anxiety attack. We feel sad and we become depressed. We feel angry and we become enraged. We’re literally turning into our feelings! Not surprising why so many heart attacks and heart illnesses are due to stress and guess what stress is? A feeling! We’re literally feeling our way into the hospital!

The good news is that while you do produce feelings you are the creator of them, not the victim of them. At least you don’t have to be anymore. Here’s how…

The next time you feel something (e.g.; happy, sad, frustrated, scared, anxious, angry, etc.) literally say, “Hello ______” inserting the name of the feeling into the blank. This might sound funny but you want to be able to give yourself just enough separation between WHO YOU ARE and how you feel! You get to have feelings and not become them. True? Of course!

I am not what I do.

We were all convinced at a young age that who we are has everything to do with what we do. That’s why we all wanted to be popular, get into that great school, get that degree, get that job, get that raise, make that money, buy that house, and have those friends. AND, if we didn’t do those things then we felt like crap. We would do our best to avoid people knowing the truth about ourselves for fear that that would find out “who we really are”.

All the while, who we are actually had nothing to do with what we did!! When you were born and for the first couple years of your life you didn’t do anything! Right? I mean you ate, slept and pooped but that was about it! You were still here, right? More than that, you were beautiful, creative, intelligent, important, enough, and whole. Yet you didn’t do anything. So who told you that after being born all these things you had to then go and spend the rest of your life proving yourself? It’s ridiculous!! We’ve gone from human beings to human doings. We’re all so busy and for what? Those few times we’re not busy and we’re so uncomfortable with not doing something that we freak out!

This week I want you to practice these exercises and practice telling yourself the single most important thing:

“I am not what I think, I am not what I feel, and I am not what I do.”

On the podcast I also give appreciation to those of you who have left reviews on iTunes. Unfortunately, many of you have left reviews months ago but I never saw them until just recently. Countries outside of the US show up differently in iTunes but fortunately I found a way to get these reviews so a big shout out to all of you in non-US countries like New Zealand, UK, Italy, Australia, and beyond who have left reviews.

It would help me out so much IF YOU left me a review on iTunes! If you could just take 3 minutes right now by clicking here! That link will take you to iTunes where you can launch the iTunes application and leave a written review. I would be so grateful!!

Let me know your thoughts on this weeks topic as I’d love to hear from you and if we’re not connected on Facebook then please join me in the conversation over there!

Much Love and Big Hugs!!

Want to live the BEST version of YOU!? Take the FREE 5 Day Self Love Challenge and start living the life you want today!

Mar 312014
 

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“Be willing to be uncomfortable. Be comfortable being uncomfortable. It may get tough, but it’s a small price to pay for living a dream.” – Peter McWilliams

By the end of today’s podcast we’re going to uncover one of the biggest lies we tell ourselves. We’re then going to look at 5 things we can start doing today to start living the life we all want and deserve!

In The News:

I open up this weeks episode sharing an article that’s was going around the interwebs last week. The article focused on a new school policy at New Haven Middle School in Evanston, Illinois. Several girls were told they were no longer allowed to wear leggings or yoga pants to school because they were “too distracting to boys”.

You can find the full article here:
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/03/27/the-politics-of-leggings-in-middle-school.html

Earlier this month, several girls at Haven Middle School in Evanston, Ill. were told they would no longer be allowed to wear leggings or yoga pants to school because they were “too distracting to boys.

I go into this a bit more in the podcast but here are 3 highlights of what I shared in response to this article. I completely invite you to leave a comment on this post with your thoughts and feelings about this as well!

1. Nobody is responsible for the thoughts and feelings you put into your own brain.
2. When we blame others for the thoughts and feelings we produce we become a victim. Boys that sexualize girls based on what they wear are not victims.
3. Making girls feel responsible for taming the sexual appetite of adolescent boys is irresponsible and inappropriate at best and shamefully abusive at worst.

This Weeks Topic:

We all do the things that feel comfortable and then wonder why we’re not where we want to be. We…

stay in that same horrible job.
stay in that same horrible relationship.
blame the same people and things.
eat the same bad foods…

Now you might be thinking these things don’t feel so comfortable. And the reality is they  don’t BUT when we think about how UNcomfortable it would feel to leave your job, leave your partner, stop blaming, and start eating healthy it becomes MUCH MORE comfortable to stay doing the same things. So, we actually find comfort in the discomfort to avoid what we think will really be uncomfortable!

Are you following me?

What do you dream about? Losing weight and having a certain body type? Being in a loving relationship? Owning your own business? What do these things all have in common?

In order to have these things you need to do things that aren’t comfortable. You need to leave the bad relationships you’re in, you need to take that scary jump into the world of startups, you need to eat healthy and exercise! But you know all this right? So why don’t you do it?

Your avoidance to discomfort is so fierce that your brain will trick you into thinking you don’t know! How many courses, seminars, books, podcasts, and documentaries have you consumed in an effort to “learn” how to do something and then come to realize that you never do it?

It’s because you never needed to learn those things to begin with. Your brain was avoiding the discomfort of actually doing the work SO BAD that it convinced you that you needed to learn first. A brilliant stalling tactic, huh?

Okay, so we all agree that in order to make all those dreams come true we need to get close with discomfort but how?

Listen to the podcast now to hear much more!

1. Discomfort is just a feeling and you are not your feelings.

2. Get very vocal about your dreams and then have others hold you accountable.

3. Practice getting uncomfortable: Hate listening to rap? Start listening to it. Need an extra sweater in the evening? Toss the sweater. Sit with your right leg over your left? Switch! Wear your watch on your left wrist? Wear it on your right.

4. Write out what you know you need to do to make that dream come true. Look for the things that feel the most uncomfortable and set a date to do those first.

5. Hunt discomfort down. When you have two choices pick the one that feels the most uncomfortable.

We all have big dreams no matter how different they might be. But we all share that same addiction. The addiction to feeling good and we’re so good at it too! And we’re awesome at avoiding discomfort. We’re also awesome at having dreams and never actually living them. So if we can just take some simple steps to start tweaking that a bit, we can get closer to living the life we want.

You don’t have to make drastic changes in your life. Little shifts every day will help set you in the right direction down the path to your dreams. Just take little shifts.

Want to live the BEST version of YOU!? Take the FREE 5 Day Self Love Challenge and start living the life you want today!

Mar 242014
 

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This week we have a very special episode of The I Simply Am Podcast. It’s special for two reasons! First, we have a great topic and if living your best life is of any interest to you then you’re going to want to hear it! Second, and certainly not least I have an amazing conversation with my friend fellow Life Coach, Author, and Speaker – Mike Hrostoski.

This week I introduce you to Mike who has a really cool story and shares his amazing experiences that have helped get him to where he is today. Mike and I share different stories on the surface but underneath it all we’re very much alike. I think after listening to this weeks podcast you’re going to see how your story is quite similar too.

We uncover how most of us are raised to believe that we’re supposed to go through life figuring it out alone. That asking for help and support means we’re weak and it’s not tolerated in many circles. This forces many of us to shut down and isolate when it comes to dealing with things in our life that hold us back.

Mike points out how he couldn’t have made it to where he is today alone. Mike is as big of an advocate for being a part of Community as I am. Without giving away all the juicy details of the conversation Mike gives us our weekly challenge. He gives us specific steps to take so that we can surround ourselves with the Community and support we need and deserve. Listen right here or join us over on iTunes and listen and subscribe here!

Our conversation lent itself very well to a new project Mike is working on called The Conference For Men. This is Mike’s first Conference after years of coaching men individually as well as in retreats and in workshops. This years conference is going to be held in San Diego, CA on April 25 – April 27. Men from all over the world will be attending so if you are a Man or know one who is looking to take their life to the next level this is the conference for them!

If you want to find out more about Mike check out his site at www.hrostoski.com. I’d love to hear what you thought of this weeks podcast with Mike so feel free to email me or leave a comment on the blog!

Want to live the BEST version of YOU!? Take the FREE 5 Day Self Love Challenge and start living the life you want today!

 

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