Create a New Normal by Tasha Richardson

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Picture Change New NormalHave you ever wondered why it seems like you keep facing the same problems or struggles over and over again?  You managed to change your life, your outlook, or at least accomplish some goal that you’d wanted, and you were sure that this time–this umpteenth time–everything would stick, allowing you to move on to bigger and better successes.  This was until, with utter disappointment, dismay, and defeat, you found that those changes you made disappeared as quickly as roaches do when the lights are turned on.

The notion of change is so seductive and exciting, especially when you finally feel empowered enough to want to pursue it.  It tantalizes us into believing that once we capture it–it is ours forever.  How can we avoid the trappings of ‘change’s’ siren song?  How can we create true and lasting change?

Food for Thought

Realize that you (and everything else around you) are always in a state of evolution and flux. Accept the fact that the only change that is permanent is change itself.  Elizabeth Gilbert best describes the relationship between change and motion.  She states, Change is all about motion, motion is all about uncertainty and we are deeply uncomfortable with uncertainty.”  In addition to our discomfort with change, many of us become complacent after we do manage to ‘change’ and reach our vision of success.  For example, those of us who finally lose the weight we’ve been carrying around feel so good about that feat that we end up getting comfortable, thereby slipping back into the bad habits that allowed us to be overweight in the first place.

Create a New Normal. What is the new normal that you MUST accept in order to continue to have the quality of life that you’ve worked so hard to create?  Part of creating that new normal is shedding old defeating beliefs about yourself and the world around you.  Your new normal becomes your non-negotiable.  For example, in November 2011 Tanika and I became vegan, gluten-free, and caffeine-free.  In order for our change to have been sustainable over the last 3.5 years, we had to sever our connection and emotional affiliation to what it meant to eat meat, animal products, etc. and wholeheartedly create the new normal where meat, animal products, chocolate, and coffee no longer fit.  One way to do this is to actively replace those things you give up with something else that fits with your new vision of yourself, all the while realizing that this is something that you must do continually.  To do this requires making a series of adjustments.

Be grateful for all of your failures. It really is like Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”  Gratitude for failure allows you to appreciate process and have compassion toward life and the many lessons it seeks to teach you.

“Do the Next Right Thing.” One slip up does not have to define you.  You have the power to choose and to choose those things that will elevate you at any given moment.  For more information about this concept, check out Matthew Kelly’s great book called Perfectly Yourself and Brian Johnson’s Philosopher’s Notes and video summary.  Doing the next right thing allows you to be unbothered and to reframe failure as a temporary state.

Be Courageous. It takes courage and resilience to look at defeat and failure and still make those necessary changes toward embracing the life that you want to have.

What steps did it take for you to create a new normal?  What are some barriers you are facing now when it comes to living in the life you want?  We would love to hear from you.

Best wishes on your journey–and remember to do you!

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Be Miserable By Yourself! By Tasha Richardson

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Shine On

October is National Bullying Prevention Month.  Join the movement, ‘Bullying Ends with Me.”  Stomp Out Bullying and check out PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center website to learn more!

In life, there are some people who would love to tear you down and bring you to their level. These people go by various names especially by the term haters, toxic people, and nay sayers.  However, the term does not matter at all.  This is because hurting people hurt people and they would love to invite you to their party of misery.

When your light shines brightly, these people would like to eclipse your joy.  So they may attempt to do so by making snide remarks, taking stabs at you by using humour, or make the claim that your way of being infringes upon them or their success.  Stay encouraged if you are going through this or have gone through it!  Know that it is not about YOU–how they treat you, interpret your behaviour, or the stories they make up about you is a reflection of what they think about themselves.  Your light causes them to become fearful because they have a poverty mentality.  They essentially believe that their lights will dim because yours shines.  Dear haters and toxic people, may you one day realize that there is such abundance in the universe, so much so that there is more than enough to go around!  We are all worthy of the best that life has to offer–the only question is who is willing to own that instead of getting caught up in comparisons and battles of will.

Take consolation in knowing that their behaviour is impersonal–and that you neither have to agree nor seek to ‘set the record straight.’  This is because their opinions and perceptions of you are “between them and their self-esteem,” a phrase often said by motivational speaker Tei Street.  The best thing you can do for the haters is to continue being your wonderful and authentic self–even as their words, comments, and behaviours seek to effectively destroy your person, enjoining you to be less than you really are.

Know this, you are okay exactly as you are.  If those around you seek to convince you otherwise, reevaluate who you choose to surround yourself with.  Just because you get invited when misery is knocking at your door does not mean you have to open the door and accept it.  You open the door by a) your own negative thoughts and patterns, b) reacting to what they say, c) accepting their skewed vision to be your reality, and d) engaging in the power struggles that their own weak egos need to engage in feel significant.  Consider these powerful words by Don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements: “Nothing other people do is because of you.  It is because of themselves…You take it personally because you agree with whatever was said” (48).

When the haters attempt to infiltrate your life, remember that you do not need to welcome them in.  Be mindful of the toxic treatment, self-limiting beliefs, and hater like ways you’ve employed upon yourself.  Treat yourself with kindness and continually affirm that there is a place for you and that the way you are is exactly how you need to be to do the work and fulfill the purpose that you were put on this Earth to complete.  You are precious and perfect as you are, so continue treating yourself that way especially by leaving the haters to seethe all alone.  In fact, use their disdain to fuel your own journey of excellence.  Say thank you and remember the words of Marie Forleo, “sometimes a put-down is the best fuel to fire you up” use these put-downs to catapult you to your ‘elevator moment’ whereby you use these occurrences as catalysts to continue being the best you you can be.

Useful Information:

Quit Holding Your Breath! By Tasha Richardson

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Holding Your Breath“Now is just not a good time, I have so many other things to take care of first.”  “I just don’t know what happened!  I just woke up one day, and here I am…it would be too hard to change now.”  “It’s no use!  My life won’t get better until ______ happens.”

Do the above statements sound familiar?  These statements should be termed ‘holding your breath’ statements.  This is because the person who says them is holding his or her breath until the perfect moment occurs.  This perfect moment exists in the future or it is tethered to the nostalgia of the past, which the person wishes could be recreated.

Recognize the areas of your life where you run from the action that the present moment is calling you to.  Where is it that you have been reminiscing about the past, dreaming up the future, and remaining paralyzed in the present?  Identify one area where you have noticed this and take action today!  Your action can be big or small–just do something.  In the words of poet June Jordan, “We are the One’s We’ve been Waiting for.”  That moment, person, situation, or circumstance will never come–even when it seems like it has or will.  Your life is waiting for you to accept it as it is, embrace the present moment, and ACT in the way you see fit.  You can do it–you are so amazing and awesome!  Just try it–the worst you can do is fail and choose to go back to the way you’ve always done things.

Helpful Readings:

  1. Time Warrior by Steve Chandler
  2. How to rid yourself of analysis paralysis
  3. The Secret to Defeating Analysis Paralysis (and Why You Don’t Do It)
  4. 11 Ways to Overcome Analysis Paralysis
  5. You Have To Start Somewhere: 4 Steps to Eliminating Decision Paralysis

Best of luck on your journey!  May you live a whole life and greet the world with your light, no apologies necessary!

A Metaphorical Suicide- Lessons Learned from the Death and Life of Robin Williams by Tasha Richardson

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On Monday, August 11th, the world lost a gem in Robin Williams.  Preliminary reports reveal that he may have committed suicide.  His death caused a ripple effect of pain to travel across the world. Williams has touched the world with his gifts and talents, and we were made all the better for it.  We thank Robin Williams for all of the humour, authenticity, and light that he offered to us and send condolences to his friends and family.

While the world no longer has Robin with us, the question that remains is what will we do with our own light and lives?  Many of us commit a metaphorical suicide every day.  What does this look like?  This looks like us showing up half there or not there at all.  This means us being silent when it comes to voicing our truths.  It means us agreeing to arrangements and situations that fail to acknowledge our authentic self.  Suicide is defined as the act of intentionally taking one’s own life.  Are you able to identify those areas in your life where you intentionally kill your power, presence, voice, and all that is uniquely you?  Once you do so. what are you willing to do about it?  Unlike those who we have physically lost to suicide, we are still here.  Own your light, beauty, wisdom, and power and “dance and embrace the musicality of life” so that when you really leave this earth, those around you can truly lament your homegoing and benefit from all that you’ve left behind.  What legacy do you choose to have and create–beginning this very moment?  Wake up and live!  Be the YOU who you were created to be!  Grant us the awesome occasion of being surrounded by the you who makes yourself known, no apologies and no excuses!  Change begins now!

For inspiration and life lessons taught by Robin Williams, check out the following articles:

  1. 11 Important Life Lessons Robin Williams Taught
  2. 20 Lessons Robin Williams taught us about life and love
  3. 15 Lessons From Robin Williams Films to Make You a Better Human
  4. Robin Williams: Life Lessons He Left Us With

What lessons have you learned from the life of Robin Williams?  What ways have you been committing suicide in your own life?  Comment below!

Just Decide by Tasha Richardson

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Today, just decide to accept the fact that only you can do what it is that has been put on your heart to do.  Each of us has a unique set of dreams, gifts, and talents that only we can unleash into the world.  Many of us have been shrinking from the greatness that exists within.  Examine the areas of your life and see where you have been waiting for permission, apologizing, or failing to show up.  You will be surprised with what is awaiting you should you make the choice to decide to accept that you are worthy and that no one can be you or do you.  Will Smith said, “There’s a redemptive power that making a choice has…Make a choice. Just decide what it’s going to be, who you’re going be, how you’re going to do it. Just decide.”  By failing to decide to embrace yourself and what you have to offer, you have been making the choice to live a life that is not befitting of who you are really are.  If you are looking for a place to start, on making the decision to live a life without apology and permission within your career, checkout this article by Liz Ryan.  At the very least, pause and notice where you’ve failed to show up and make the intention to at least decide that you can live–and are worthy–of the best that life has to offer and that you have the ‘goods’ that no one else can provide us with on this Earth.  Just decide because you are worth it!  

A time soar…

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What can make you soar and become your best self?  Too often, we are used to playing small and denying our true natures.  Like chameleons, we blend in and conform to the negative expectations of our surroundings and our environments.

http://blog.1800runaway.org/2014/08/a-time-soar/

For Me Only by Tasha Richardson

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What is it that you are doing for you, and only you? For many of us, the urge to give and serve is automatic. We do not hesitate to rise to the occasion and demands of our friends, careers, families, and loved ones. This usually leads us to putting our own needs and desires at the end of the list. And it doesn’t end there! After engaging in small or major acts of self-neglect, we experience stress, burnout, illness, resentment or a faint sense of malaise, discontentment and disconnection.

So, needless to say, the aftermath of engaging in daily acts of self-sacrifice and putting everyone’s needs continuously above your own often leaves behind nasty consequences. The nastiest of all is a disconnection between you and your true self.

How can we deal with the tension between serving others and serving ourselves?  Many wise people of the present and past knew the answer to this age old dilemma. They told us that we need to give to ourselves first because prevention is the best medicine.  In the Richest Man in Babylon, George Samuel Clason told us to pay ourselves first if we wanted to grow in wealth and make a long term investment in our future.  Similarly, Stephen Covey, author of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People taught us to “put first things first” and “to sharpen the saw.” When Dr. Covey told us to put first things first, he wanted us to align our lives and actions in accordance with our values.  He taught us to do those things that were important first–both the urgent and nonurgent.  And when he told us to sharpen the saw, he wanted us to engaging in those experiences that would prove to enrich us across the many dimensions of our lives.

What would it take for you to pause and really think about what it is that you need?  Checkout the poem I wrote and comment below!

For me only do I steal away moments of quiet

For me only do I meditate upon my beauty

For me only do I engage in those things that I love

For me only do I embrace and accept all of me

For me only do I say yes to myself

For me only do I say no to you when I know that is what I need

For me only do I laugh, sing, run, jump, and cry–all without apology

For me only do I shout resoundingly: I love me; I choose me; I free me!

For me only do I release myself from the need to allow my heart’s song to shrink into the background

For me only…and always!