What if I’m wrong? I can’t make up my mind.

What if I’m wrong? I can’t make up my mind.

What if I’m wrong? I can’t make up my mind.

From my experience as a life coach, one of the most crippling mental blocks we can run into as we try and build a life we truly love is this: “What if I make the wrong choice?”.
What if I upset the apple cart and it’s a mistake?
What if I realize later that I could have done better?

As a result, we may stay frozen exactly where we’ve been, sometimes for a long time, choosing status quo over taking any step.

Some of us remain is joyless jobs, or bankrupt mariages. .. for years, for decades.

Of course deep inside, there is the desire for some kind of new choice, some change, some RELIEF.  But despite that deep longing to do something new, to transform, to escape, to feel better… we dare not make a move.

We are masters at finding rational reasons, excuses, explaining WHY we don’t. 

We are always extremely creative when we fool ourselves,  when it comes to what stops us from moving in any direction.
When in fact, what makes us protect the status quo, is a deep fear. 

The fear to be wrong.

The risk to make a mistake.

For some of us, behind the fright, there is a terrible pain we would do anything not to feel.
The cause of that pain has a name: Shame.

A few years ago I listened to this talk by Brene Brown, and it’s so enlightening i recommend it :

https://roya.us/blogs/our-stories/the-difference-between-shame-and-guilt-by-brene-brown

In a nutshell “guilt = I made a mistake, I did something bad; shame = I am a mistake”, I AM bad.

She also says : “Shame corrodes the very part of us that believes we are capable of change”

Since shame is a master emotion, so strong that it is unbearable, and it affects greatly our ability for self-acceptance.

Putting this together with our awareness that “being wrong is shameful” for some of us as we’ve were taught as a child, makes me feel enormous compassion for anyone struggling with making life changing decisions.

In this light: “wrong = shame” it becomes easy to understand how excruciating it can be for some of us to upset the status quo, any status quo.

What if i’m wrong?

If i’m wrong i’ll have to feel that crippling burning pain of shame.

Though we find a lot of rationales to explain our resistance to induce big changes, life changes, even in the face of an unfulfilling situation, maybe it could help us to consider that our whole ability to endure, to remain, to not disturb the status quo, might just be avoidance all along of that burning feeling.

Shame is so hard to take, so profoundly self condemning that any other pain is easier to deal with.

A client of mine spoke of terror and it was so spot on!

In other terms, our resistance to change, our doubts, our fear of making the wrong move, are only the result of a very destructive early lesson where we were denied the right to be wrong every now and again as we build up experience.

The right to be wrong

Though all human beings are experiencing and learning best by taking the risk to be wrong, as a normal part, a universal part of finding out what living at best is for any of us, the pain of shaming denied that acceptance for those of us shamed when they were wrong, early on.

If this resonates with you, increasing your awareness of that equation wrong = shame having been trained into you (it’s not a natural thing, it’s a crippling denial of your worth) will be the door to freedom to make choices and take the risk to live on your terms with more self acceptance and self compassion…

We can’t unsee what we become aware of.
That’s the very cool part with awareness, when we see a pattern, when we realize what has been driving us, we then have the ability to witness, we can choose to remain alert and and to act in different ways, instead of letting the pattern have us…

In my work I see awareness set people free as they start questioning the validity of their crippling beliefs and how they were installed at a young age.

We are human beings, and as such we are able to reinvent ourselves, to create new beliefs (a belief is only a very very familiar thought, a mental habit; its familiarity does not warrant its accuracy), and to learn how to treat ourselves better.

Everyone benefits when we do so, because when we live an authentic life, we empower others to do the same.

We have the right to be wrong, it is not a shameful thing.
Simply because it is inherently part of Life to learn through trials and error.
When we dare not doing so we sell ourselves short from a life well lived.

We are not alone.

It’s good to remind ourselves that we don’t have to do all the shifting, all the growing out of old patterns, all the awareness work, on our own!
What I do now, as a life coach comes directly from having benefitted immensely from working with mentors, masters and  coaches who supported my growth at every big step I took.
Asking for help is sometimes the very best move we can make.

There is magic in serendipity, in following the bread crumbs, in letting ourselves be guided toward the book, the conference, the workshop, the webinar, the group… the person, who feels right for us.

Sometimes status quo feels safe, and sometimes it comes to feel like slowly dying.
At that point it’s good to look closer…

To your awareness and to your happiness!
Much love

Emmeline

Excellence or Perfection: what’s your mindset?

Excellence or Perfection: what’s your mindset?

I’ve said it before and I will again: perfectionism is the enemy of a life well lived.  In my experience, perfectionism is a foe.

Perfection is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow…
First of all, the idea of perfection is preposterous as and in itself, because no matter how good we’ll do or be, it will be relatively to standards that have been created arbitrarily and bound to always get pushed further, in a practically never ending frustration.

Perfection breeds intolerance.
Perfection, and the will to attain it, is a sure way to become extremely self-critical and by the same means critical of others.

By leaving no room at all for any variation, any straying or any quirk, it sets the standard so high that it is often a deterrent for many people to even attempt anything, therefore killing their chances to live a vast array of rich experiences.
For those of us who stick with its quest, Perfection will bring frustration, obsessive behavior and worst of all: intolerance.
Perfection is a source of fear.

Even if we were to reach a state of Perfection or feel that we have discovered a form of it, its nature will be sterile… there is no way to go from there, except the fear to lose it.

Excellence on another hand is a beautiful thing because first of all it is a doable goal, and it is real.

Unlike Perfection, which is a cold concept, an idealization, a volatile standard, Excellence is something we develop, and practice, and enjoy while we develop it.Excellence is predictable, it comes with persistence and repetition, without the dread of failure.
Based on practice, it’s a way of life that makes our life better instead of making it a living hell.Excellence is a great way to BE.
It’s a living state, a satisfactory learning curve.

In a nutshell, when I go for Excellence it motivates me, it makes me take action, it stimulates me because I know that if I stick with practice, I will become better and better, and eventually excellent at what I do. It’s a given.

Excellence is more companionable.
People who excel at what they do are usually confident, successful and easy going people. They love sharing their passion, passing on their acquired knowledge and are a great source of inspiration to others.
They treat themselves and others with the understanding that growth is always possible from where we are and that every level of that growth is in itself to be enjoyed.
 
So in a world that seems to become more and more radical, and divided, I’d rather aim for Excellence, rather than Perfection.
I believe it is a more loving and surer path to success and to making the world better.

To your growth and happiness, always
Much love
Emmeline
I’ve said it before and I will again: perfectionism is the enemy of a life well lived.  In my experience, perfectionism is a foe.

Perfection is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow…
First of all, the idea of perfection is preposterous as and in itself, because no matter how good we’ll do or be, it will be relatively to standards that have been created arbitrarily and bound to always get pushed further, in a practically never ending frustration.

Perfection breeds intolerance.
Perfection, and the will to attain it, is a sure way to become extremely self-critical and by the same means critical of others.

By leaving no room at all for any variation, any straying or any quirk, it sets the standard so high that it is often a deterrent for many people to even attempt anything, therefore killing their chances to live a vast array of rich experiences.
For those of us who stick with its quest, Perfection will bring frustration, obsessive behavior and worst of all: intolerance.
Perfection is a source of fear.

Even if we were to reach a state of Perfection or feel that we have discovered a form of it, its nature will be sterile… there is no way to go from there, except the fear to lose it.

Excellence on another hand is a beautiful thing because first of all it is a doable goal, and it is real.

Unlike Perfection, which is a cold concept, an idealization, a volatile standard, Excellence is something we develop, and practice, and enjoy while we develop it.Excellence is predictable, it comes with persistence and repetition, without the dread of failure.
Based on practice, it’s a way of life that makes our life better instead of making it a living hell.Excellence is a great way to BE.
It’s a living state, a satisfactory learning curve.

In a nutshell, when I go for Excellence it motivates me, it makes me take action, it stimulates me because I know that if I stick with practice, I will become better and better, and eventually excellent at what I do. It’s a given.

Excellence is more companionable.
People who excel at what they do are usually confident, successful and easy going people. They love sharing their passion, passing on their acquired knowledge and are a great source of inspiration to others.
They treat themselves and others with the understanding that growth is always possible from where we are and that every level of that growth is in itself to be enjoyed.
 
So in a world that seems to become more and more radical, and divided, I’d rather aim for Excellence, rather than Perfection.
I believe it is a more loving and surer path to success and to making the world better.

What do YOU want to aim for?

To your growth and happiness, always.
Much love

Emmeline
The life transforming power of minute choices

The life transforming power of minute choices

When we talk about making choices, in relation to our future and personal growth, we often refer to significant choices. Big stuff.

Life changing choices must be, by nature, daunting and hard to take. At least that’s what seems to be the belief for many of us.

For sure, there are occasions when we have to take #decisions, make choices, in a big way, like will we move from Santa Barbara to Taos? Or should we get married? Is it time to quit our soul stifling job? These choices can be excrutiating, or they can be no-brainers, but we are aware in any case that they will have a big impact on our existence.

What we are less aware of, however, is the incredible power or the tiny bitty choices we make in the course of every day, with hardly a second thought, and often in a very casual, or even unconscious way.

Minute #choices, such as let’s say, add 1/2 spoon of sugar instead of 2, wear heels or comfortable walking shoes, buy a $4 latte or take our own cup of coffee from home, smile or frown, interrupt a friend or listen all the way, sit straight or slump, walk or drive, text while driving or not, have a glass of wine or not, keep our emails clear and tidy, or let them accumulate in an overwhelming number… I could go on and on… you get the drift. Little things.
All these tiny choices hold amazing power in the sheer number of their repetition, despite their relative insignificance in isolated occasions.

In fact, when we look at them closer, it’s what we do the most in small ways but long periods of time, that shape our lives.
Nothing flashy here. Only the humdrum of habits.

But wait! Could my habits be mostly unconscious choices? Indeed.

When I take the 2 spoons of sugar, I choose to indulge in the moment, and to continue what might already be responsible for a pesky extra weight or a diabetes threat.
When I smile deliberately, I make myself feel better, and that’s a proven fact… day after day, I won’t develop the same kind of wrinkles, nor the same kind of relationship to the world.
The simple fact to refrain from texting while driving insures that I won’t be maiming or killing someone for it.
When we let things such as emails unattended, we end up not being able to even see what mught be important, and we’ll feel anxiety.
And when I have that glass of wine every day, I noticeably increase my risk to develop cancer.

As we see here, time is of the essence.
Repetition shapes WHO WE ARE.

On the long term, a tiny choice can make or break my health, my #relationships, or my financial soundness.
On the moment, as a one of, each small choice looks insignificant enough, though.

But you make that insignificant choice every day and the results is gonna get more and more heft.

So can we shape our lives in a very significant way by making tiny significant choices every day? You bet.
It’s even the most efficient way to change our trajectory, in any domain of life, without having to upend it!
Let’s say you are journeying through space, and you vary your direction only 1 degree angle. What will happen? After a while you’ll end up in a very different place than where you aimed to go at first.
Guaranteed. ONE DEGREE. How small is that?
The cool part is that tiny choices are DOABLE.
They are manageable.
They are not so challenging that we get discouraged by the idea…
Also they can be made immediately, in the flow of today’s life.
No big deal. Right now.
If I keep it up… it’ll be a new habit before I realize it.

It just requires one thing, a very powerful thing: the #mindfulness to do what we do in a deliberate fashion.
Becoming #aware that every single action I take is actually a choice I make.
That’s my power in action. That’s the way I shape my #life
.And the rewards are mind blowing.
Small choices… they are our best friends if we choose to make them so.

Much love

Emmeline

Art boost at work? A game changer.

Art boost at work? A game changer.

Do you work in a chaotic environment that involves a lot of pressure?
Then you would benefit greatly from having Art around you.
Chronic stress keeps us in a state of high alert detrimental to our health, our happiness, and our cognitive abilities.

On another hand, exposure to uplifting visual clues triggers a biological positive response involved in immunity, digestion and cell repair and you can see how serene, mindful and meditative art work can be a game changer and even more so in your work environment.

In 1967, David Rockefeller established the BCA — a national nonprofit organization that brings business and the arts together. The BCA conducted a survey across industries that assessed the positive effect of Art in the workplace.

In fact, Art at work reduces stress and increases our productivity (up to 32% accordingly to Karen Higginbottom in her excellent article for Forbes in May 2016).
Deutsche Bank is on board with it. The German investment bank has the biggest collection of corporate art in the world, with some 60,000 art works across 900 offices in 40 countries.

What makes Art so powerful?
I personally believe Art partakes from a higher level of consciousness, an acute sensory ability and a limitless freedom of spirit that serves the whole human group.
In presence of Art we engage that part of us that is beyond earth-bound limitations, even when we are not aware of it.
We get in touch with the exquisite awareness of being gifted with Life. Through Art, we are connected, we are touched by grace, we are cosmic.

Did I mention that it takes only 13 milliseconds to see something and register it?
You won’t need to stare at the wall to get the full effect of a work of art, actually you can perceive it from the corner of your eye!

No matter how much you like or dislike what you do
When you are at work, no matter how chaotic your surroundings can be, you will always benefit greatly from a nurturing, transcending artwork to rest your mind upon during the day.
Far beyond its pleasant decorative qualities, the artwork you’ll choose to display can help you cope, recoup and relax when your day is particularly hectic.

In this day and age, we are all body conscious, we all take supplements and exercise, we eat the right thing and get massages… but how many of us deliberately choose to pamper our mind ?
What about a mind massage ?
Serene, meditative Art, purposefully designed to support wellness and awareness, does just that…

To your wellness!
Emmeline

Cited sources:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/karenhigginbottom/2016/05/01/the-impact-of-art-in-the-workplace/#46.
https://www.bizjournals.com/sanantonio/stories/2006/05/15/focus2.html
https://www.theguardian.com/careers/2016/jan/21/art-works-how-art-in-the-office-boosts-staff-productivity

Forgiveness: A personal, emotional unshackling

Forgiveness: A personal, emotional unshackling

Forgiveness is a struggle for most of us
Forgiveness is the inner work triggering in us the most resistance though it is the most powerful healing tool we have at our fingertips at any time.
So why do we resist so much the emotional release, the liberation that true forgiveness can bring us?


Because there is a part of us that still clings to what happened in the past and REFUSES it.
As long as we hold the grudge, feel the pain, refuse the event and want repair, apologies, amends, or simply keep on hating the people who caused us pain, we are emotionally shackled to that event, and to these people.


And the sad part is that we do that to ourselves from the inside out.
No matter what happened then, it did happen and we need to leave it there.
But we keep it going


So here we are, wasting some of our beautiful life force in holding the memory, fueling the revengeful thoughts, rehashing the wrongness, and feeling the sadness and the anger all over again and again.
We do this to ourselves in the now. Nobody else does it to us.


1/By simply accepting what happened as a fact of the past, we start the process of letting it go; of putting it where it belongs: back then.
The second step in the process of forgiving (yes, it is a process) is to understand that we keep hurting ourselves with our negative feelings and memories.
Any negative thought we repeat over and over becomes a mental attitude that hinders us.
Any negative mental pattern becomes a guideline first, then a personality trait.
When we indulge in un-forgivingness we deprive ourselves from wholeness.
Forgiving is not excusing or condoning anything.
It is only letting go of the death grip we got on a particular time of our life.
There is no need to expose ourselves to more abuse or more grief by reaching out to the perpetrator though we can offer written pardon if we feel the need to do it (and we can either send it out or burn it after it is written).


2/By simply accepting the fact that life exposed us to a circumstance and that we have the freedom to choose our response to it, we open a door and let some relief get in.
We get our power back.
We are not victims any more but masters of ourselves.


3/The third step is allowing ourselves to feel liberated and grateful to be free.
Feeling the shackles of resentment, grief, and anger fall off puts us in a completely different place emotionally.
Now we can look at what happened from a distance, as a piece of our history.
We are not perpetuating it anymore.
We can celebrate the fact that we survived everything so far and are still here, free to make our tomorrows better than our yesterdays.
But, you’ll say: “How can I stop despising and hating a perpetrator?”


4/We can develop our ability to extend compassion toward every being no matter what, even though we may avoid, despise, condemn, or hate a given behavior.
All of us are at different stages of evolution, understanding, fear, and humane capability. There is no denying the fact. We hurt others and we get hurt by others. It is part of the experience of life.
When we extend compassion to all of us we give a chance to humanity to evolve as a whole.
Acknowledging, letting go of, feeling free and extending compassion is a sequential practice that permits us to for-give. To give forward. To become whole again.
As in any good practice, we want to include ourselves in the process.


Forgiveness of self is as crucial as forgiving others.
The acknowledgment part is the most tricky part here, because we rarely completely see how much grudges and self hatred we hold against ourselves! Seriously.
The truth is: when we arbor any kind of self destructive behavior we have self forgiveness to do.
So take a moment and ponder how truly loving your behaviors are toward yourself… Do you binge? Do you put yourself in debt? Do you think you are not good enough? Do you numb yourself with drugs or alcohol? Do you have any unhealthy repetitive behavior? If the answer is yes, you are demonstrating self-hatred. Just acknowledge it. Then start the process. Right now right here.
The best place to begin is in practicing self-forgiveness… it will get you all the way to forgiving the world.

To your practice.
much love

~Emmeline

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