On October 14th, 2019 by Stacy

One trick to squeeze excitement out of dread

Posted In:
blog | Mindset

“I can’t wait for this to be over.”

We’ve all had a thought like that when it feels like we’re drowning in the middle of a dark moment in life.

Those thoughts aren’t the actual experience we’re having though. They are what we are thinking about the experience we are having. They’re the evaluation and judgment of our reality. They also determine our emotions. Different factors, variations, and degrees of intensity will have an effect on whether it’s heavy like depression or mildly painful like impatience.

When I was in college, I was really into this guy who didn’t like me nearly as much as I liked him. It sucked and it bummed me out and made me feel not good enough and used and rejected all at once. Here’s what I didn’t know. My greatest love was going to enter my life during that period of time and it would change everything.

What if I knew the universe’s master plan all along and what seemed like a heartbreak was actually clearing the path for the perfect easy relationship to enter my life? All I had to do was wait. All I had to do was trust. What do you think I would have been telling myself then?

“I can’t wait to see what’s coming.”

Simply knowing that things were going to work out in my favor would have changed everything about my experience of the rejection.

We can use this tool right now without knowing the detailed roadmap. All we have to do is believe that life is happening for our benefit and that everything we are experiencing is ultimately going to position us for a happier life with healthy loving relationships. In just believing that, we would know that all of the bumps and bruises along the way are worth it for what’s coming next.

But if that feels like too much of a stretch, try this. Look back at the things that have felt like the end of the world in your past. Pick one that ultimately positioned you to experience something absolutely wonderful in life that wouldn’t have happened without the trauma. Now take that little ember and blow on it and build it up until you have a passionate and powerful belief to replace those dark thoughts with, something like…

Every step of the journey has a purpose.
You see, I needed to have that experience with that other boy because I learned not to devalue myself. I learned that I would never again give to someone without feeling like it was an equal and connected partnership. I couldn’t skip that step or I wouldn’t have been ready for the love of my life.

I’m not saying it won’t hurt. Loss hurts. Grief is painful. Rejection, abandonment, disappointment and all those things are unpleasant experiences. But you have more control than you may think about how you feel going through them.

“I can’t wait for this to be over” feels radically different than “I can’t wait to see what’s coming.” Maybe even something more light-hearted like, “Man, this is going to make a great story someday.”

My question for you is this… next time you’re having a crappy experience, what are you going to tell yourself about what’s happening? Pick something that feels good and make it your mantra.

 

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On September 18th, 2019 by Stacy

In Hindsight

Posted In:
blog | Mindset

The Summit of Greatness
I attended this amazing conference a couple of weeks ago. It was a few days of inspiring speakers giving TEDtalk-style speeches back-to-back during the day. Kyle Cease, a hilarious transformational teacher, was going to be there and he was by far the person I was most excited to see.

At the first night’s social event (before we’d seen any speakers), I noticed him going in with a couple of other people. Kyle Cease! One of the people we were going to cheer from the seats was just strolling into the crowd with a couple of women. I thought for a minute about going up to him but I talked myself out of it with this thought, “He probably just wants to enjoy himself and not be mobbed by fans.”

A little while later, I noticed he was still with the same two people and nobody seemed to be waiting to talk to him so I decided to approach him. I said, “Hi.” He said, “Hi! I’m Kyle.” (How cute is that, I’m Kyle. I know who you are! That’s why I’m about to fan girl you.) I introduced myself, thanked him for his contribution to our world and complimented him on how he handles such big topics with lightness and humor. Then, I asked him for a photo. He gladly agreed, we snapped the picture, and I said goodbye.

Nobody was waiting to talk to him. Why did I leave?
I left because of these thoughts. “I don’t want to eat up his time. I want other people to have a chance to talk to him. Why would he want to spend time getting to know me? I’m nobody.” That really nagged at me over the next couple of days. I felt like I’d missed out on something wonderful because of my own feelings of unworthiness.

Great, I have a photo of me and Kyle on my Instagram grid. You know what I don’t have that I am absolutely certain would have been amazing? I don’t have the memory of a meaningful conversation with him. While I told myself a story that his time was more important than who I am, I let my ego pull me away from a beautiful opportunity.

Why do we do that? We put someone on a pedestal and make a massive assumption that they wouldn’t want to get to know us. The truth is that nobody is more special than you. Nobody is more special than me. Not even Oprah. We lose out on great things like mentorships and connections. We lose out on smaller but also lovely things like meaningful conversations and sweet exchanges.

We do this in our relationships, too.
We decide that the other person’s time, energy, or opinion is more important than ours. When we decide to silence ourselves and not speak up, we lose out on connection. You know what else? When we tell ourselves that we aren’t worth other people’s time, we rob them of the opportunity to show up for us. And so often, it’s just an assumption with absolutely no truth behind it.

I have no doubt that Kyle Cease would have happily spent a few more minutes getting to know me. And the part that kind of sucks is I would have really liked to get to know him. So that will be the last time I rob myself of that kind of opportunity. Regret is one of my least favorite emotions so I try very hard to learn fast when it shows up. I’m important. I matter. And the person who has to believe that first is me.

 

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On April 30th, 2019 by Stacy

How to Stop Focusing on What You Don’t Have

Posted In:
blog | Mindset

We get sad because we see a hole where we think something should be. A partner. A lifestyle. A feeling. You might notice the hole because of a loss. Something you want was there before. It’s also possible that the hole has never been filled; you know it’s there because what you want isn’t.

One of the challenges of sadness is that it vibrates at low energy. That’s why you don’t want to get out of bed. It’s why you can’t accomplish much of anything. It’s why you are tired, sluggish, or lethargic. Getting out of the dumps so you can get back to feeling good is going to require raising your energetic vibration. Shifting your focus can help jump start your energy level.

Focus Shift 1: I look forward to (insert desire).

Sadness actually has a beautiful flip side. It points at something we desire, something we want to be, do, have, or experience. Most of us want what we want because we think it will make us happy. So logically, it should make you happy to think about it, right? What really matters, though, is how you think about it. You have more control over your emotions than you think. They are the direct result of a thought. If you think about what you want as missing or impossible to get, you feel sad. But if you think about it as on it’s way, like a package you ordered from Amazon, it’s exciting. It’s coming! Excitement will naturally raise your energy level.

Focus Shift 2: I am grateful for (insert desires fulfilled).

You might be entirely focused on the hole. All you can think about is the void in your life. Take a minute to step back and look around. Pick your head up. All around that one thing missing are the things that are present in your life. Don’t ignore those. In fact, celebrate them. Have some gratitude for all the desires that have already appeared. Those used to be things you wanted and now they are things you have. How wonderful! That grateful energy vibrates very similarly to that excited energy.

Focus Shift 3: I now have space for (insert desire).

Another way of thinking about a lack of fulfillment is to contemplate the hole itself. Perhaps it’s not such a bad thing after all. A hole might represent where you wish something was, but it also means there is space for anything you can dream up. Maybe something better than you had before or more magnificent than what you have imagined so far. You need that room to get your creative juices flowing. If space is being made in your life for absolutely anything you can conceive of, what would you design? This time, you are using creative energy to elevate your vibration.

Feeling sad is a perfectly normal human state and sitting with your feelings is a healthy thing to do. If we don’t allow our emotions, they have a way of coming out sideways, creating problems, and keeping us stuck. But after the initial and natural emotional response subsides, we have the ability to affect our feelings by shifting our focus. You can feel sad but you don’t have to stay sad. That’s up to you.

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On January 29th, 2019 by Stacy

Feel Forward

Posted In:
blog | Mindset

I used to always know what action to take.
I thought my brain was the most reliable and efficient resource I had. I was a logical, linear, one-obvious-right-path-forward thinker. Planning? Easy! I was comfortable choosing goals, creating steps, and taking action.

Times have changed though.
The more in tune I’ve become with my intuition and creative side, the more unsure I’ve become. I don’t see it as a bad thing, but I don’t always know what action to take next. Sometimes I draw a blank. Or there are way too many possibilities. Which to choose?

Not knowing what to do next would have been stressful or unacceptable to my old way of thinking, but now I view it as a fun opportunity. I can allow myself to feel my way through situations instead of immediately jumping into problem solving mode. As soon as I feel I’m clutching and grasping at an answer or when I’m overwhelmed by all of the solutions, I know it’s time to stop and tune in. Here are the steps I take to do that.

1. Ask a question.
It doesn’t matter if I’m focused on one thing or I’ve got a bunch of different stuff bouncing around. What’s the next step? What should I focus on? What direction should I take?

2. Do nothing.
Doing nothing IS doing something. You have to leave space for the answer(s) to come. For me, that means idle movement. My body has to be active for my intuition to be louder than my brain. Shower, hike, laundry, etc… But that’s just me. Maybe you can sit quietly in meditation or listen to music. Just do whatever works for hearing ideas.

3. Choose a direction.
I’m not expecting a single answer to come to me like a glowing spotlight from heaven illuminating the ultimate perfect solution. The universe knows I want a little more free will than that. I think we get infinite answers but our little human brains can only hold so many. You know how when you’re in the shower it feels like dozens of random thoughts cross your mind? I think those are ALL answers. They aren’t random. But I also know that every thought won’t lead me to the right place. I like to land onto a thought, no matter how completely unrelated it feels. Then I follow it along and see if it has relevance to my question. Are you the one for right now? Are you the good fit? If it feels like a dead-end, I ditch it and capture the next thought to test.

The answer always comes.
If not then, it will come later. Although I have to say that when you set an intention, intuition is pretty reliable. If I state my question before I take a walk and expect the answer by the end, I will get it. The only thing that will block it is me trying too hard to figure it out. The whole process comes to a halt when I try to think forward rather than feeling my way through a situation.

It’s a stretch sometimes. I like answers now. I rely heavily on my brain. I used to think logic was always right. Now I do my best to settle into uncertainty until the answers come. I try to follow my emotions and intuition as they nudge me toward the right path. And honestly, they never steer me wrong.

So the next time you are stuck, lost, overwhelmed, or baffled, give it a try. See what happens when you try to feel forward. Good luck, my friends.


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On July 17th, 2018 by Stacy

What is it that makes us happy?

Posted In:
blog | Mindset

It’s completely normal to feel scarcity.
Maybe it’s money. Maybe it’s physical fitness. Maybe it’s a relationship. We want more of it and when we look around, we don’t have it.

The problem is that we are seeing an illusion. What we see when we look around is the reality. What we don’t see is the story we are telling ourselves about what we should see. You wouldn’t even know you were poor, fat, or alone if you weren’t remembering something you used to have or imagining what you’ve seen other people have.

Focus on what you do have and you will feel abundant.
Focus on what you don’t have and you will feel lacking.

Now some things we can’t control.
When you lose something that meant a lot to you, it will hurt. It is normal to grieve. That is loss, and feeling those feelings is super important. But when the grieving period naturally ends (and it will) and we continue to focus on that loss, then it turns into scarcity.

Other things we can control.
We have to recognize that and accept it. Sitting around feeling like our lives are lacking something that we can go out and get seems a little silly, doesn’t it?

Then again, we have to ask ourselves if we really want it. Like, how bad? Are we willing to do what it takes to get it (and keep it)?

Being rich and successful requires investment and work.
Being in excellent physical shape requires sacrifice and work.
Being in a relationship requires compromise and work.

There is always work.
And we are not always willing to do it, if we are honest with ourselves. Which is no big deal IF we are content. The question is…

If nothing ever changes, can I be happy with myself and my life as it is right now? Can I feel abundance?

I’m a striver by nature but when I put the brakes on to ask myself that question, the answer is always, “Absolutely!” The problem is that I hardly ever stop and ask that question. My brain gets caught up in where I’m headed and therefore, wants to judge where I’m at as not good enough. Lacking.

For me, that may be the hardest balancing act of all. To be simultaneously happy, content, and grateful for myself and my life right now and also be moving forward, changing, and growing.

Sometimes I like to get a little dramatic with it and pretend for a minute that this is the last week of my life (it could happen, you know). Would I really waste time fretting about missed workouts and self-imposed deadlines? Nope. So why worry about those now?

If nothing ever changes, can you be happy with yourself and your life as it is right now?

I hope your answer is yes, too.

Hey, let's connect! I'd love to hear from you. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. If you'd like to sign up for my weekly newsletter, The Love List, scroll to the bottom of the page.

On June 19th, 2018 by Stacy

I'm No Good at Math

Posted In:
blog | Mindset

It's such a small book... why was I so intimidated by it?
C’mon, I’ve read a ton of books, books of all kinds. But as I pulled this one from the Amazon envelope, I was afraid to even open it. I wasn’t ready to find out the answers to all of my fears.

What if this is over my head? What if don’t get it? What if I’m not conscious enough to understand these teachings?

It was the Tao Te Ching.
I’ve wanted to read it for years but have always hesitated. Mostly because the teachers I’ve heard mention it have always been way beyond me in spiritual maturity. But a part of me still wanted to read it. I had a feeling it contained magic and beauty. But was I developed enough to appreciate it?

And then recently, one of my spiritual mentors mentioned it when I was asking for her list of must read books. It felt like a call from the universe, so I ordered it.

But as I held the thin book in my hand, I heard a voice of doubt and fear in my head.

It’s kind of like math. I used to teach algebra and I would hear students (and parents) say that they were never good at math and that they would never be able to do algebra. But do you want to know the truth? I never met a single person who couldn’t do algebra. I did meet A LOT of people who didn’t think they could though. And so they didn’t.

Was that the same thing going on here? I had a feeling it was all just a matter of connecting to that part of me that would understand the teachings in the book. Sounds easy enough, but I could feel the self-doubt.

Maybe it all just came down to desire. Were desire and intention going to be the game-changers here? Just like with algebra? The kids who decided they WERE going to do it no matter how good or bad they thought they were at math, did do it.

Did I just have to tap into my desire to understand, my intention to understand, and then I would be able to understand?

What if the desire to do something is the only thing standing between us and ANYTHING?
I mean, I get it. I’m not ever going to run a four-minute mile. But a lot of that is total lack of desire. In fact, as I ticked down a list of things I want to do, every single one of them was doable if I put my mind to it. Maybe I wasn’t getting crazy enough with my list. I added a few more outlandish things. Same thing.

It kind of blew my mind to think I could do anything, including so many things I assumed weren’t within my capabilities.

So I decided to open the Tao Te Ching. It was every bit as intimidating as I expected, but at least I was now equipped with a belief that I would be able to grasp it. On some level anyway. Maybe I’d get even more from it when I revisit it a few years down the road.

But you have to start somewhere. Maybe saying yes, believing you are capable, and just plain starting will get you there.

Hey, let's connect! I'd love to hear from you. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. If you'd like to sign up for my weekly newsletter, The Love List, scroll to the bottom of the page.

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