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Empty Elevator October 29, 2009

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The elevator button glows with the words “North Star”.  You excitedly get in the elevator and start going up!  As you look around you realize you are all alone.  No one joined you in the elevator.  Wait a minute, where is everybody?  You absolutely know you are going in the right direction.  Why didn’t everyone come with you?  Suddenly you feel lonely and isolated.  Where is your tribe? You think to yourself I need to go back and try to convince everyone to get in the elevator.

Empty Elevator is the term Martha Beck uses to describe the lonely and isolating feeling that is common when people start to follow their North Star home.  My elevator was completely empty for a while.  I knew that I was following the right path to home and yet I didn’t expect to feel so alone.

The magic of the universe intervened during one of my Life Coach training classes.  In the classes we coach each other over the phone.  Due to a communication snafu, I didn’t know I was up to be the “coachee” for the night.  Luckily I didn’t have time to think of a “safe” topic to be coached about.  I shared the pain of being in the empty elevator and feeling lonely and isolated.  After the session I felt vunerable and ashamed at what I had revealed.

Now for the magic.  After class that night, I received several emails from classmates.  One in particular stands out as my classmate said “You are not alone.”  Wow I get emotional just remembering that.

In July I joined my tribe in Chicago for a coaches convention.  At one point we were all headed somewhere in an elevator.  I looked around and my elevator was completely FULL.  I was so filled with love at having these people that seemed hand picked by the universe to join me in my elevator.

As you follow you own North Star home it may be comforting to know that the empty elevator happens.  Keep going up and soon your elevator will be full of your new tribe.  The lonelyness & isolation are only temporary.  You arrive at home to peace and love.  Welcome home to where you belong.

Love & Light,

Karin

Focus as if no obstacle or resistance is present March 21, 2009

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In focusing on your weight loss goal or any goal, focus as if no obstacle or resistance is present.  This is an Aikido technique that works with any concept.  Act as if you are not overweight and you will move through your weight loss.  Your focus stops where your mind stops.  If you are always focusing on being overweight then your energy and momentum will stop at being overweight.   I can hear some of you disagreeing already.  You want calorie counting, low fat, low carb.  You can only lose weight on a diet of deprivation, sheer will power and obsessive focus on every morsel that goes into your mouth.  Some of the most overweight people I see around me are those who are on just such a program the low fat or the low carb or whatever the media tells you to buy into today.

Why do you want to lose weight? Are you seeking happiness? Inner peace?  Physical well being?  A great relationship?  Put your energy and focus on where you want to go not on what is stopping you.  My Aikido teacher was showing us the concept in class the other day.  Even a young boy who is not physically capable of just walking through someone who stands in his way was demonstrating that when he acted as if there was no obstacle in his way he could move effortlessly around wherever he decided to go.

I wanted further practice with the technique so I decided to experiment.  Every year on my first outdoor bike ride of the season I ride up a very steep hill.  This former sledding mecca is a formidable obstacle and after a long winter, I am not at my best fitness.  Usually I start up the hill and then putt, putt, putter & stall half way up the hill.  This year I focused my energy just past where I wanted to go.  The result – I made it all the way up the hill and it felt effortless.

Try it with your weight loss. Focus all your energy on who you will be after you have lost the weight.  Decide to be that person today.

Could You? Would You? When? March 12, 2009

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Could you? Would you? When? Sounds like a Dr. Seuss book but really it is an inquiry method I just learned called the Sedona Method.  There are so many wonderful methods available such as Byron Katie’s The Work, Brooke Castillo’s Self Coaching 101 or any number of different options. It doesn’t matter which method you use as long as you find something that resonates with you and gives you freedom from your painful thinking.

What is your most painful thought?  For the purpose of explaining the method, I will use the belief that Louise Hay contends is our universal painful thought “I’m not Good Enough”.  Allow yourself to really feel the sensations of this thought.   Focus on the feelings and sensations and allow them in.  It may be scary or uncomfortable and that is okay.  Now holding that thought and those feelings ask yourself these three questions: Could I let this feeling go? Would I let this feeling go? When?  It doesn’t matter how you answer question 1 & 2 just continue with the model and ask yourself when you would be willing to let the feeling go.  When might be now or it might not.  It doesn’t really matter just keep working with the model each day until you can get some wiggle room or freedom from the painful thought.

Simple methods all but amazingly powerful.  Share your stories – what gives you freedom?

Be an Inverse Paranoid March 1, 2009

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Principle #6 of Jack Canfield’s “The Success Principles” is to be an inverse paranoid.  In other words instead of finding the negative in every situation you view every person/situation as an opportunity to become empowered.  It seems like such a simple concept and is easy to dismiss.  Recently I put the principle to the test and found that IT REALLY WORKS!

Years ago, I became a barefoot runner.  This is a decision from my essential self and something I choose as being true to me.  I love to run barefoot – it brings me joy and freedom.  The exception being that when I hear others talking about me I get angry and defensive.  The circumstance doesn’t change – it is still just a woman running barefoot but I let my thinking about what others think poison an activity that I love.  Not a belief or action that I want to keep.  At my last marathon, I decided to become an inverse paranoid.  My thinking was not that everyone thinks I am crazy and is being critical or unkind.  Rather I decided everyone was curious and interested.  I changed my energy and had the best experience.  When the chatter started, I openly talked about why I run barefoot and then I turned the attention on the person and inquired about their race.  This completely disarmed everyone and they treated me with kindness.  This was completely empowering for me.  Now instead of viewing them as out to get me I saw them as out to empower me.

For the next several days, try the concept out for yourself.  Pick a situation in which you normally feel like the world is out to get you and decide the world is out to empower you.  How do you react from a place of empowerment?  Is your outcome different?

You are Looking Great! You Are Almost There! February 16, 2009

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If you have ever participated in a running event, triathlon or other similiar event you have likely heard spectators shouting from the sidelines “You are Looking Great!  You Are Almost There!”  Inevitably this happens when you are five miles from the finish line with snot slimming your face, a ring of salt around your mouth and neck and sweat matting your hair and dripping off your nose.  Never have I known anyone to sit down on the curb at this point and wait until they could see the finish line or their outward appearance matched the “looking great”  vision of the spectator.  I understand right now that the economy sucks, you aren’t at your ideal weight, your kids are challenging you or maybe your relationship is going south.  At this point you probably can’t even see the promised land and that is okay.  It is perfectly fine to process what you are going through.  Maybe you have to slow to a walk and take turtle steps to keep moving forward.  Reach out and connect with the supporters along your journey.  They are there with loving support and doing the best they can to help you.  As your Life & Weight Loss Coach, I am one of the supporters along the sidelines shouting out encouragement.  Here is a virtual high five from me to you.  See you at the finish line!

Mastery February 1, 2009

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Seeing my frustration in trying to learn Aikido, a classmate recommended I read Mastery by George Leonard.  Mastery is the journey and not the destination or the final goal to learning any skill.  It is a lifelong process that can not be rushed and along the way you will find yourself on a plateau more often than not.  Mastery can be applied to anything from life, sports, weight loss, relationships, careers, and love.  The art of mastery brings excellence, satisfaction and fulfillment into our lives.

So often in today’s society we aren’t willing to master anything.  Afraid to fail or appear less than perfect too often we quit at the first plateau.  Three personality types that resist mastery are described in the book.  First there is The Dabbler who loves new things and is always looking to make each day different.  At the first plateau the dabbler is pulled off the journey by the newer shinier thing.  The Obsessive pushes and pushes.  A plateau is just another opportunity to push harder and harder.  This person is always up or down with little middle ground.  Eventually the Obsessive can’t push any harder and gives up.  Content on being constantly on a plateau, The Hacker never strives to learn and grow and simply accepts a ho hum existence.

Mastery requires loving the plateau, looking forward to it as a place to learn and grow and enjoying the process and the journey.  It is embracing today and practicing even when you see little to no progress or even backsliding.  As this applies to weight loss you have to be willing to be on a lifetime journey of learning about yourself.  Be prepared for plateaus, disappointments, practice, learning, growing, fulfillment, satisfaction.  Don’t be a Hacker, Obsessive or Dabbler.  Commit to yourself to start on the path of mastery.  I will explore the keys to Mastery in future posts to give you tools for your journey.

Grab a copy of the book and decide for yourself what is one thing you can do today to start on your journey to mastery?

Choose Hope January 25, 2009

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As I reflect on the inspirational speech of President Obama I know that choosing hope instead of fear in every aspect of our lives is how we will begin to heal ourselves, our nation and the world.  How can we each apply this to our own lives and let hope and not fear inform our every action?  Do you hope to lose weight but are afraid to try again?  Do you hope to heal your relationships but fear the truth?  Do you hope you could take the job involving your passion but fear leaving a “secure job”? Do you hope for abundance but fear there isn’t enough?  Take a moment to reflect on how you will act from a place of hope over fear in your life.  What is the most hope inspired action you can take today?

What do you choose to believe? December 14, 2008

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I used to believe that I would always be the chubby fat girl. In my mind, I was addicted to food and food controlled me.  Like the song, it was always on my mind.  While I was eating one meal, I was thinking about the next.  I would stuff my body with food rather than stop and be present with myself.  About five years ago I became a triathlete and was able to manage my weight better but could still get into an emotional eating binge.  Two books radically changed my thinking and now I have permanently ended my war with weight & food.  The books are the 4 Day Win by Martha Beck and If I am so Smart Why Can’t I Lose Weight by Brooke Castillo.  For more information on these books check out my bookshelf.

When I share my new beliefs with my clients it helps them clarify their goals. I share this with you in hopes that you will find inspiration and believe that you too can permanently lose weight.

This is the mantra that I now believe:  I choose to permanently end my war with food/weight & my body.  From this day forward, I will listen to my body and feed/fuel it based on physical hunger.  When I want to eat because of emotional hunger, I will pay attention to my body and find out what it wants from me to peacefully give it what it needs.  I am the body whisperer for me.  I will honor the mind/body connection.  I will be the watcher and respect my wild child/dictator self.

What do you choose to believe?

Let them eat cake! December 11, 2008

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In working with my clients they are really struggling between balancing healthy food choices with eating what they want.  The bad news is there is no magic formula, no diet that will be THE solution.  That is actually a blessing in disguise because it leads to the great news.  You have an amazing awe inspiring mind and body.  Get connected and you have solved your struggles.  Ask your body what it wants for physical fuel.  My guess is that as long as you aren’t feeding your emotions your body doesn’t really want a bunch of chemicals, artificial flavors and “diet foods” that taste like cardboard.  If your body is clamoring for cake – get connected.  Why does it want cake?  Are you physically hungry?  Will cake soothe your anxiety or lonlieness?  Does cake wash down anger or frustration?  I will never tell my clients that ANY food is off limits.  So if you have checked in with yourself and you are physically hungry and cake  (or bread or whatever you decided is off limits) is what you want – eat the cake. Stay present, eat slowly and enjoy every bite.  The minute you are physically satisfied set the fork down and walk away.  Does it work?  I can tell you from personal experience when I can stay present in my body I actually crave fruits & vegetables not cake & potato chips.

Whiskey & The Watcher December 8, 2008

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The one tool that has made great shifts in my life is to be “The Watcher”.  This is where you observe your thoughts without becoming attached to them.  You notice how fascinating your thoughts are.  When I became the watcher of my emotional eating I noticed I was eating like Whiskey.  Whiskey is our adopted dog from the Humane Society.  For Whiskey, he is convinced that each meal is his very last and that he may starve if he doesn’t inhale his food.  He can literally eat 2 cups of food in 30 seconds.  One day while being the watcher for my emotional eating, I realized I was eating just like Whiskey.  The next bite was already on the way to my mouth before I had even finished swallowing.  This was such an eye opening experience for me.  Now I take my time and enjoy each bite of food.  This skill carries through to the rest of my life and when I remember to be the watcher I find myself more at peace.

Try this for yourself – be the watcher in your life.