True Self

Day 1/2

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I began my fourth Meditation Experience in July of 2019. This was my forth go around and was excited to get started. This time the focus was on relationships. I needed to work in some of these area more than others. And to be clear, relationships were an area that needed some work for sure.

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Deepak says “We are not our feelings. Our true selves are always fully awake”. I’ve heard this before explained as “we are not our thoughts.” Being authentic has been a focus for me ever since I started learning from Brene Brown, Deepak Chopra and Gretchen Rubin. How much time did I waste not being authentic? And surrounding myself with those who I truly had no connection with and not really enjoying the things that I loved and made me happy?

There was a time when I would meet someone new and I would hear myself edit my conversation as I’m speaking! Maybe not tell the entirety of my story. And for what? What does not being authentic do for me? I think I’m meeting someone new, I’m looking for that bond or I’m thinking this could be a new friendship so don’t scare them away! Ha! When I stopped doing that, suddenly I had the best friendships I’d had in a long time. The right people just fell into my life. If I fall in that trap I stop and correct it, being my true self instead. There are places where I’m ALWAYS my true self. With my family, when writing, at yoga, and with my new friends. And it goes hand in hand with feeling my best.

Do you feel like you are your authentic self when meeting new people? This week try and catch yourself when you hear yourself not being authentic. You will be so happy with the results and the people you attract into your life! Thanks for being here!

Emotional Contagion is REAL

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Have you ever felt drained after meeting with a friend? Our friends should give us energy, not deplete us. Emotions are contagious. You can learn more about emotional contagion here. That is reason alone to review who you are spending your time with since we are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Elisha Goldstein explains that we are a highly social species and whoever we are around influences our behavior. Having a high social connection has become one of my overarching goals for many reasons that I’ve written about here before including longevity. I’ve made some huge improvements on this front, but still have more to work on.

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In this lesson, I was to make a list of all the people I spend the most time with and then rate them on a scale of 1-10 by asking how much that person inspired me. At the time, I came up with a list of 17 people that I saw regularly. I thought this would be a difficult exercise but it was not. The uninspiring people were glaringly so. The lowest number I assigned any one person was a 3. Needless to say, I’m not really in contact with that person anymore. There was nothing so terrible about her, but she was the kind of person who when they speak, only complaints come out of their mouth. I was like that too at one time, and I probably would have been a snarky cohort, but now I see it and I want to run!

On the other end, the highest number I assigned was a 9 and that went to three friends. One of which was my personal trainer Carrie, which made complete sense since she jumpstarted so much of this for me. One other was one of the ladies in my exercise group who did some incredibly meaningful volunteer work. The kind of work that stopped me in my tracks to ask more. She was SO inspirational to me. She was the reason I started doing more important volunteer work in the first place. Not to mention all the health benefits of volunteering that I’ve mentioned before. I used to joke in class that “When I grow up I want to be her”. She lives her beliefs and there’s nothing more inspiring than that. My last 9 went to a friend who I feel is truly supportive. I never felt drained around her, in fact, the complete opposite is true. After seeing her I feel GREAT! She actually listens to me and understands me. Our conversations are real. She is most definitely part of my tribe.

This week try the exercise above. Make a list of the people you spend the most time with and assign each a number based on how inspiring they are to you. If nothing else you will see where your energy gets lifted up and where it gets drained. I can’t wait to hear about your experience with this exercise! Thanks for being here!

Toxic People

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Toxic people. We all know who they are. They are friends, co-workers and family members. Now that I had learned how to become an optimist, I also needed to learn how to keep the negative people out of my life. Some of this is in our control. I can choose my friends. But family members and co-workers are another story. You can absolutely set boundaries with family members. And for the very first time in my life, I did it. It’s not pleasant. Without going into too much detail, for this persons privacy, I had decided that if this family member was going to be in my home, the rules were going to change. I did not and would not accept the gloomy negativity and comments or the crying and the drama anymore. I’ve done too much work to let that happen to myself or my family. Remember, emotions are contagious! So choose wisely who you allow into your space. I really don’t buy the attitude that just because someone is related by blood you have to spend time with them or forgive all their destructive ways. I choose the people I surround myself with and that includes family members as well.

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Co-workers are another story. There is no escape! I recently heard Christine Lang’s Tiny Class on the Sheri and Nancy Show podcast about how to “cleanse your energy”. She says when encountering negative energy to say to yourself “Please clear me of energy that isn’t good.” Another strategy, which is the one I try to use, is to use visualization by visualizing yourself in a stream with water running over you and the stream is carrying everything out through your head to the feet. Another visualization she recommends is visualizing yourself going through a car wash, cleansing yourself of the bad energy. She suggests using these strategies a couple times of day as needed. I think these are very helpful in a work situation where you may not have another choice. If you want to learn more about Christine Lang or her “Shielding yourself from negative energy” talk, you can find her here.

Do you have toxic people in your life? This week think about whether it’s in your best interest to keep them in your circle or is it better to learn techniques to shield yourself from emotional contagion? I’d love to hear your feedback! Please comment below! Thanks for being here!