Finding Focus in Confusion

by Cheryl Brewster

Do you struggle with finding focus in confusion? Is it sometimes  hard  maintaining the energy for your goals, dreams and aspirations? Many factors can impede our “burning desire.” Commitment, faith and follow-through to our bigger dreams and purpose are essential. They help stoke the “fire of desire” back to life when disappointments or setbacks take their toll.

One key ingredient that has surfaced from my own experience and studies in mindfulness and neuroscience is the necessity of compassion. Without a compassionate mindset we can unconsciously  berate ourselves and others for “what could have been.” Instead of building up our “fire of desire” to feed the vision of our higher mind, we can spiral into negativity, self-doubt and confusion. Decisions can become messy, difficult and anxiety-ridden.
To use confusion as a focus for clarity:

1. Begin with a Clean Slate
What would happen if in this moment…
You reflected and forgave yourself for the ways you’ve sabotaged any dreams, goals or intentions?

What would happen if in this moment…
You TRULY forgave yourself and dropped the constant mind chatter of the critical voice? How different could this moment be? How different would your life be over time?

What would happen if in this moment…
You let your resentments go and instead channeled that “victim” energy into creative insight?

2. Keep the Slate Clean
Call on the power of the ABCs of Intuition to continue dropping those super strong unconscious patterns and habits that need to go: Awareness of Behavior = Change. It will take time! However it’s worth the investment. And  it’s very exciting. Using mindfulness to drop thought and focus on the breath is the precursor to emotional intelligence; we get good at dropping intense emotion and coming back to our centre, just by focusing our attention on the breath.  The key is the willingness to be in the discomfort of change! Establish a practice of immediately redirecting negative and limiting thoughts to a “mindful minute” of tenacious peace, followed by a decisive visualization of how you are CHOOSING to respond to life.

3. Practice Mindfulness and Meditation
Research has found that mindfulness leads to calm and clarity.  Mark Robert Waldman, neuroscience researcher and author discovered that “When you intensely and consistently focus on your spiritual values and goals, you increase the blood flow to your frontal lobes and anterior cingulate, which causes the activity in emotional centres of the brain to decrease. Conscious intention is the key, and the more you focus on your inner values, the more you can take charge of your life. Thus, meditation – be it religious or secular – enables you to more easily accomplish your goals.”

4. Use Beginner’s Mind to Course-Correct with Compassion
Achieving our goals or creating new systems and sticking to them costs us something; effort – the effort to overcome resistance, to stay in alignment with what’s most important by practicing resolve. We must remember that hesitation magnifies fear while prompt, decisive action crushes it. We must resolve to manage both our memory and our imagination – mismanagement of either creates inferiority, worry and mental monsters that create and keep confusion. Ironically, our willingness to be beginners, to NOT be very good at first, provides acceptance. In that space of course correction, we fan the spark of inspiration within to feed the fire of desire to step up even in the midst of setback and disappointment.  Course correction is the art of compassion in action – it’s transformation at its finest. It’s finding focus in the confusion, finding the energy when we feel we don’t have it, starting where and are, and not stopping.

From Clarity to Confusion: for more information contact Cheryl at TheIntuitiveLife.com to learn more or to book me for a private intuitive consultation, coaching program, lecture for your organization or staff training.

 

Stay Inspired in Difficulty – Part 2

by Cheryl Brewster

The Obstacle is the Path. I know this to be true. The very thing that creates confusion in my mind or terror in my gut is the very antidote to that stress. And the answer to that confusion, terror, difficulty, heartbreak, disappointment or challenge is this… it’s here to be used to my advantage.When I approach life from this perspective, I go to a whole new level of awareness and effectiveness.

How about you?

Scott Peck said that “Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult-once we truly understand and accept it-then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”

That’s huge! Life-changing! It helps us tackle the things we don’t want to, because we have discovered an inner power that transcends our resistance, procrastination or limitations. What are 3 simple steps we can use to develop this kind of life-altering perspective?

1. Use difficulty to your advantage.
Challenge and change are unavoidable. But your perspective is totally your creation. The question is… have you created consciously or unconsciously? Awareness will course-correct perspective to help, not hinder you. It sounds simplistic, but when you “take your stand for inspiration in difficulty,” postponing peace or your sense of capability, is no longer an option. Difficulty is used to your advantage… immediately. Want proof? Identify a current difficulty and list at least 5 ways you can use it to your advantage… you’ll probably find more. Decide on the one tiny baby step you can take right now, in this moment… and then the next and the next.

2. See difficulty as your servant, not your master
What do these names have in common? Terry Fox, Rick Hanson, Nick Fugicic, Christopher Reeves, Maya Angelou, Anne Frank and Victor Frankl? That’s right, they used their obstacles, difficulties and tragedies as inner paths to freedom. Their capacity to see life from this perspective is the same path of power available to us…  Our willingness and commitment to embrace the obstacle as the path redefines us, makes us aware of points of inner power that we didn’t see before. We can start from the humblest beginnings and yet lead the most extraordinary of lives. Immediately.

3. Recognize that all difficulty is the invitation to peak performance.
This perspective cuts through emotional baggage, irrational fear, worry and stress. Difficulty is the very thing that brings out the best in us. The result is knowing we can handle the situation immediately… in the now, the present… “while” we face our shadows, worries or innermost demons.. because the truth is, the hardest battle we will ever fight is with our own thoughts and emotions…. Will we be true to what calls us and stand up for what matters? That’s the call to inner truth, self-trust and personal development and mastery. It’s what gives us the grit, courage and tenacity to do the right thing. It’s what frees us from the insidiousness of  unchallenged fears.

By staying inspired in difficulty, we drop the habit of “hoping the problem will go away,” and embrace a strength that was here all along, but wasn’t being used. Staying inspired in difficulty helps us surpass all forms of mediocrity, victimization, self-doubt and exhaustion. We stop projecting the past onto the future and begin to truly enjoy the present moment. We master the very things that once held us back.

Stay inspired. It is difficulty’s equal partner. The obstacle is the path. Begin today and if you’re stuck or not wondering quite where to start, that’s okay! Start anyway… what’s just one small step you can take right now? Take it! Nothing is more rewarding than “right action!” That’s you mining the gold in the shadow of your subconscious. It’s worth it. And it’s waiting for you!

woman_speaking_to_audienceAbout Cheryl Brewster, B.Msc., Transformational Speaker, Coach and Celebrant. Under every difficulty is a greater inner potential that our intuition accesses. My expertise is inspiring my clients, whether individuals or organizations to re-frame difficulty as a path to tangible, measurable, powerful results and solutions in the areas of life and business that matter most.  If you’d like to learn how my intuitive consults, coaching programs or speaking services, can grow your success, please contact me for a complimentary exploratory call.   As a Celebrant, I also offer officiate ceremonies for life’s most meaningful moments.

Stay Inspired in Difficulty – Part 1

by Cheryl Brewster

Challenge in life is inevitable. Despair is optional. However rock-solid confidence is possible, even in times of great difficulty.

Inspiration connects us to what’s most important in life. Like an anchor in stormy harbours and rudder in rough seas, inspiration anchors, grounds, comforts and encourages us. It creates more positive-feeling states even in difficulty. Inspiration is not Pollyanna magical thinking… it contains the grit equal to challenge; it’s the force inside that compels us to take action, to drop irrational fears and be strong in our resolve.

I call inspiration the “fire of desire” that business guru Napoleon Hill talked spoke of when he said: “Strong, deeply rooted desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.” It’s the “transcends everything” part that Hill experienced in his own life and inspired in others: “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” That’s what I call true power – looking for the seed of equal or greater benefit, even in difficulty. It’s the turn-around, the fork in the road, the re-frame that turns panic into power, and chaos into order.

10 ways to foster inspiration so it’s there when you really need it:

1. Memorize
Memorize the Napoleon Hill quotes above (or something similar like a meaningful poem, sacred text, etc.)… choose something that makes an impact, that really gets your enthusiasm going! Start each morning contemplating that favourite quote or spiritual principle. As you do, you’ll be engaging your connection to the infinite, creative imagination and intuition so they can deliver “aha gems” when you least expect them.

2. Be Vigilant! Decide!
It’s impossible to be upset when you’re inspired. The truth is, stress can become a habit. If you are putting your focus on the difficulty rather than its seed of equal or greater benefit, then decide to shift your focus. Kill the ANTS! (Acronym for Negative Thought System defined by brain health doctor Daniel Amen). Use visualization; imagine seeing negative thoughts hitting a teflon coating around your mind, that they can’t stick to… it’s a way of “deciding” ahead of time, what’s allowed to stay. Vigilance in watching our thoughts ensures access to accurate intuition, not corrupted by fear or negative thinking.

3. Reflect, Re-frame and Rehearse
Go deep. Why is the particular quote or sacred text that you memorized so important to you? (Aside from a quote, it could be a value, song, a piece of art, a person you admire, etc.)  Think. Go deep. Then write about it. Why is this meaningful to you? How will you use it to meet difficulty? Invite a friend to do the same exercise and verbalize your findings with each other. Sharing reinforces the new options available to you.  Go one step further… draw two columns on a piece of paper…under one, write the word “problem” and list all of the difficulties.  Then cross the word “problem” out and start a new column with the word “project.” You’ll be amazed at the re-frame! Rehearse the new opportunities… visualization supports action!

4. Relax!
To counter-act the physiology of fight or flight, yawning immediately signals the body that it is safe. Forced yawns might feel silly but they work! Try at least 6-10 in a row. Besides, your brain always benefits from extra oxygen. Recall a favorite memory or pastime… take time out to enjoy, reflect, relax!

5. Use the Mindful Minute
Take plenty of “brain breaks” throughout the day – time yourself for a minute and go into stillness or pure imagination. You’ll be rejuvenated and create more focus. It’s been scientifically proven that even a 10-second break every 20 minutes can dramatically improve performance.

Inspiration is like….
A tasty treat for the mind and spirit.
Being equipped with an emergency preparedness kit when you really need it.
Having candles and matches when the power goes out.
The extra energy boost that helps you take action when you know you should, but don’t want to.

woman_speaking_to_audienceAbout Cheryl Brewster, B.Msc: I am a Transformational Speaker, Coach and Life Celebrant. Under every difficulty is a greater inner potential that our intuition accesses. My expertise is helping my clients, whether individuals or organizations to resolve conflict, improve communication, and increase better health, finances, relationships, connection, enjoyment and peace of mind.

Want More Fun, Prosperity and Peace?

by Cheryl Brewster

hand_writing_new_life_sign
It’s a New Month! More fun. More prosperity. More peace. Yes!

To ensure these goals, dreams and aspirations materialize, reflection is important: what worked yesterday, last month, last year? What needs to change to make this a stellar experience?  Having a plan and setting goals is just part of the process. Learning how to STAY connected to the energy, vitality and joy of that plan is essential.

How excited are you for the month ahead?
It can be difficult to feel enthused when we’ve encountered setbacks, disappointments, unexpected losses or perceived mistakes. It can be even more difficult when we don’t see an end in sight to ongoing patterns and problems. But challenge is a part of life’s refining process. Bringing “high vibration” attitudes to these challenges, makes the difference,  helping us see them as “sacred vehicles” that do make life more, fun, prosperous and peaceful if we’re willing to harness the power of their potential.

So what will you do differently today, this month, thi year? How will you ensure more vision, confidence and empowerment at home and at work? Both intuition and mindfulness are key and directly linked to fun, peace and prosperity.

3 things to remember about Fun:

  • Fun is important! When we’re having fun, we have access to incredible energy, ideas and creativity. But often, we can shoo it aside for “more important things.” Uh oh, that’s where we can get into trouble. Why can’t “fun be the way we do the important things?”
  • Fun is not actually dependent on things outside of one’s mind although it can appear that way. The more we enjoy being in our own skin, loving and appreciating ourselves, the more confidence and fun we have in life and with others. Did you know that the pituitary gland releases more hormones to activate other parts of your brain when you’re truly loving who you are? Attention to loving ourselves actually changes the brain, giving us more access to our inner genius! Fun then, is  an important commitment… it allows us to access higher states of consciousness, directly impacting intuition, healthy self-esteem and self-image.
  • Fun is the result of an inner harmony always available and seeks to express itself in enjoyment of the present moment,  creativity, humour, relaxation and activities that feed the spirit. It’s contagious!

3 things to remember about Prosperity:

  • From the Latin meaning “according to hope or to go forward hopefully.”
  • Not an outer condition, rather an inner attitude/state of mind/vibration in which you experience happiness, peace within and about yourself (which obviously, can’t help but end up in the outer conditions that match it… e.g., an inner attitude of abundance can’t help but creatively express itself in tangible, physical results).
  • In times of struggle, your faith or inner knowing must be stronger than your fear.

3 things to know about Peace

  • Each time we delay being peaceful (e.g., waiting until the money comes, we get the new job, partner, health improvement, lose 20 pounds, etc.) we miss being in the present which means we keep reinforcing the mistaken belief that peace is everywhere else except for here and now. We delay not only our peace, but every other good feeling… including prosperity and having fun!
  • When we say later, I’ll feel better later, we are strengthening self-defeating habits that lock us deeper into anxiety and unhealthy patterns. We needlessly give away our power, self-responsibility and inner-directedness; we miss out on experiencing the joy of our potential right here, right now.
  • The most important times to choose peace are when it’s the hardest to do so.

This is where understanding “high vibration thinking” is most obvious: whenever we think that peace isn’t possible right here right now, we are focusing on BECOMING peaceful rather than BEING peaceful – we keep ourselves in a state of wanting rather than being or having, which is what causes scarcity rather than abundance in our lives; we perpetuate a cycle of constantly needing rather than having. The same goes for fun. Imagine a guitar string out of tune…. when you pluck it, the resulting vibration in sound is discordant, not pleasant to listen to. The same goes for our thinking…. we must practice those ABCs of Intuition – Aware, Breathe, Connect to keep ourselves in tune, in alignment with the joy of life.

If all we did was bring more attention to where we are denying peace, we would see where we are also denying prosperity – we’d see where we are denying enjoyment of this moment.

Choosing peace isn’t always easy. But it is possible. The same is true for feelings of prosperity – whether it’s financial, in relationship, health, being organized or feeling more capable in times of uncertainty – it all begins in thought first. We must have the tenacity to begin practicing the feeling of peace, especially when it feels difficult or when we don’t want to. What we’ll find is that while it may take a while for the tangible results we want to appear, we can certainly have more ease (even fun), peace and feelings of prosperity right here, right now.  Imagine what each new day, month and year can look like with this continued mindset!

If you’re ready to begin having more fun, peace and prosperity in your life from a more intuitive/mindful perspective, I’m here for you! Just like your car needs regular oil changes, so does your thinking and that is my specialty! I help with intuitive guidance, coaching you in consistently accessing your own intuition and mindfulness for more clarity, self-awareness and self-trust!  In these exciting times of possibility, make me a part of your resource team!  Whether dreams, goals or aspirations, having support for more fun, more peace and more prosperity can make the difference from “I wish I could” to “I Did It!”

If you enjoyed reading this article, contact me to learn more or to book me for a private intuitive consultation, coaching program, lecture for your organization or staff training. Here’s to your best times yet!

How to Bounce Back from Massive Disappointment

by Cheryl Brewster

barbaraDisappointment. Shock. Trauma.
How do we bounce back from massive disappointment?

As Conscious Changemakers in these turbulent times, we must take heart to keep ourselves empowered and focused. I’m inspired by Futurist Barbara Marx Hubbard (photo) who reminds us that “Our Crisis is a Birth!”  This is echoed in Barbel Mohr’s  use of the ancient Hawaiian prayer “Ho’oponopono” as outlined in her book Cosmic Ordering where:

• I assume the origin for every problem lies within me – therefore resolution does too
• If I tidy up inside myself, the outside world will automatically return to order because it is only an expression of my internal energy
• From this perspective, I start to feel that everything is energy and discover how this energy from the world within expresses itself in the world around me.
• I begin to experience expanded states of flow and begin to realize that nothing can happen in the world around me without a resonance existing within myself.
• Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len who brought this ancient prayer to the mainstream says we need to ask ourselves; since everything is one, how have I created this? As soon as he discovered a reason within himself he cleared it by saying: I’m sorry, I forgive myself, I love myself.

Consider the personal implications of this practice!
1. When you do it, what happens is that Divinity takes the painful thought and neutralizes or purifies it.
2.  You don’t purify the person, place, or thing. You neutralize the energy you associate with that person, place, or thing.
3.  Neutralizing this energy, takes us out of the conditions that created it, allowing for immediate peace, an expanded mindset and new, more harmonious experiences

So the first stage of Ho’oponopono is the purification of that energy.
When we think of massive disappointment in our lives, something powerfully transformative can now occur. Not only does the energy of disappointment, shock and trauma get neutralized; it also gets released! All you have to do is notice any problem you are experiencing physically, mentally, emotionally, whatever. Once you notice, your responsibility is to immediately begin to clean, to say, “I’m sorry. Please forgive me.”

Here’s a powerful exercise I’ve adapted from Mohr’s book The Cosmic Ordering Service:
Anxious or annoyed with someone? Ask yourself:
• If I were behaving like the other person, why would I be doing so?
• If I were to behave in this way, how would I feel in doing so?
• How could I have created this situation?
• How could I have drawn this grievance into my life?
• What feelings does this situation create within me? When you have found something, acknowledge it:
• I am sorry
• I forgive me
• I love you/I love me (you are speaking to yourself here… you love both yourself and the feeling you discover within yourself

We stand at a very important crossroads in history…individually we have to do our part to bring what is good and just inside our own minds and lives so that we can mend the tipping point in our outer world.  This is what it means to become a “Universal Human” which Barbara Marx Hubbard defines as seeing “that the meaning of our crisis is to activate our new capacities.”  Let us stand together with diligence, persistence and commitment. Doing so increases our intuition and creativity, for more empowerment and prosperity. Interested in working learning more about Ho’oponopono? Download more information here: hohoponono-for-blog and call or email us with your insights, questions and experiences.

Cheryl Brewster is a transformational speaker and coach, helping individuals and organizations to drop stress and engage more mindfully for greater results, resiliency and rapport. To learn more or to book a consult, attend an event or book her as a speaker, email or learn more at TheIntuitiveLife.com

 

Decision Making with Ease

by Cheryl Brewster

At some point in time, we all hit the wall.  And it’s not pretty. It hurts. No matter how hard we try, we can’t seem to make a decision with ease. We wonder, worry and second-guess ourselves to death. Our fear of making a mistake can become a pattern of denial, delay and despair.

The upside to hitting a wall is that it always points to the doorway of new understanding. And when it comes to decision making with more ease, that doorway is mindfulness.

Mindfulness is the ability to notice what’s happening in your head so you can make better decisions. It frees you from past conditioning, fuzzy thinking, overwhelm and unconscious patterns that keep you in doubt and procrastination.

Mindfulness is a hugely important ability to foster and has gained massive respect around the world and particularly, in business. Over 22% of major business organizations include some sort of mindfulness training in their human resource offerings to staff. It reduces stress, promotes clear thinking and focus, improves health and reignites creativity.

Given the critical number of decisions we need to make each day, mindfulness is no longer an option… it’s a necessity.

Mindfulness helps with the decision making process, using the ABCs of Intuition: Aware, Breathe, Connect.

1. Aware – Be the observer.
What’s happening to you as you consider the decision you need to make?
Watch yourself.
What are you thinking, feeling, sensing?
Notice your body sensations.
Developing the habit of observing yourself can pop you out of the unconscious knee-jerk reactions that occur, especially when you feel worried about someone in your care.

2. Breathe for “one mindful minute”
It sounds too good to be true, but one “mindful minute” can save the day, let alone your sanity. Once you’ve established yourself in observer mode, stay there for one minute… don’t try to figure anything out…just be present in watching yourself. Allow the mind to settle into the breath, not carried away by thoughts, sensations or emotions, just focused on even, regular breaths. Breathing for just one minute helps you find your centre again. From here, knee-jerk reactions or emotions can be identified and set aside. Mindful breathing unhooks you from the flight/fright/freeze that is the natural consequence when feeling uncertain or threatened.

3. Connect – by asking yourself what is the next right thing?
The clarity you will receive from this very short process is astounding. It creates a laser-like beacon for you to follow. You can only ever do one thing at a time so mindfulness reminds you of the choice and power you have to do that one right thing.

This does take courage. Why? Because this process promotes change. And sometimes (or should I say often), we don’t want to change! But when change has the capacity to instantly take us out of worry, frustration, fear or guilt and back to peace and personal effectiveness, then we need to ask ourselves…

What price am I willing to pay to return to peace?

Often times, most times, it’s simply the decision to let go of past regret. Without awareness and over time, overwhelm can become a habit so we must remain diligent in paying attention to our decision making process. Are we in ease or do we keep “hitting the wall?” The doorway of mindfulness remains ever ready to show us the way. In walking through it, we overcome fear and are able to course correct much sooner.

If you’d like to learn more about Mindfulness and Intuition as a path to self development which includes making decisions with more ease, email us for your complimentary Mindfulness Report or introductory coaching session. We’d be happy to hear from you! Stay updated by signing up on the website for daily inspiration, and check out our calendar for upcoming events.

Stay Inspired – How to re-frame “failed” goals (part 2)

by Cheryl Brewster

This is part two of how to re-frame your goals… see part one before you read on. What appear to be “failed” goals are part of the structure of life; they’re unavoidable and important “pause points”. They carry with them, hidden treasures that point us in the direction of our dreams and accomplishment of our goals.

Pause Point#1: The only failure is the failure to learn
Too often we assign value, meaning, self-esteem and success to positive outcomes while assigning the opposite to less than desirable ones. Remember the story of the birth of post-it-notes? It was a glue formula that “failed” and created a multi-billion dollar product!  Success was already there, just not in the form the inventor expected. So too for you. Less then stellar results are not the end of the world, they’re important steps of progress. The only failure is a negative attitude that disregards the learning.

Pause Point#2: Tell the truth to yourself
Blind spots hold incredible treasures within them. Repeated unrealized goals are guiding you to this treasure. What are you not seeing? What are you not willing to do differently? Truth is the bridge. Humility and the willingness to see and do things differently are the toll required. This requires a positive attitude and the ability to translate what we don’t want into what we do want.

Pause Point#3: Drop irrational judgment
The willingness to see and do things differently means “letting go” of the irrational judgments that our blind spots contain. There is within each one of us, an infinite intelligence that supplies our ideas, creativity, wisdom and resources. By continually blaming ourselves or others for goals not yet achieved, we are totally unplugging from that power source! Irrational, continual, unrelenting blame or regret literally choke out prosperity consciousness. What we most fear then becomes what we most create. We inadvertently energize exactly what we don’t want! We do this both consciously and unconsciously. How do we know? By the results we are getting.

Pause Point#4: The power of 4: Forgiveness, faith, focus and follow-through
Awareness of irrational blame or judgment requires a decision to forgive… without it, we’ll never have a strong foundation to build on and the success we long for, we’ll never have. We may achieve great things, but if we don’t achieve peace of mind along with them, then they’re just that… things without greatness. Here’s a powerful 4-step process to stay on track:

Forgive: yourself and others, and refuse to let blame or regret rule your life. Be willing to let go! Blame not only hurts, it keeps us stuck.
Faith: Prosperity consciousness is the resolution to apply the immutable force within. Prosperity is not outside of us… it’s expressed from the inside out! This can be a tricky concept but it’s a vitally important one.
Focus: ONLY on the thoughts, feelings and consciousness that support your prosperity. Be committed to this as a new habit.
Follow-through: lead from your power-source; take inspired action and keep dropping judgment or fear as they come up. Cross the bridge of truth from what you don’t want to what you do want with the humility and willingness to think, feel and do things differently… let the “inner substance within” that underpins everything, flow through you. What is this substance? It’s the same intelligence that drives the force of nature, beats your heart and breaths through your lungs… you can’t get it from anywhere outside of you… it’s already here. How exciting is that?! Our only job then, is to be still enough to let it lead, and to follow with faith, focus and follow-through. How will you do that this week? Email us! We’d love to hear your experience of applying these concepts! For extra support, be sure to sign up for our daily inspiration on our home page.

Cheryl Brewster helps people become aware of their strengths and the mindsets that sabotage them. She works with both organisations and individuals to help each person create greater resilience and sustainable results in life and business. She offers keynotes, coaching and private consultations to a local and international client base.

Stay Inspired! How to re-frame “failed” goals (part 1)

by Cheryl Brewster

What inspires you?  Inspiration is important!  It’s what comforts us in the most difficult circumstances, transforms lethargy into those great “I Did It!” moments, and also helps us deal with those disappointing “I Didn’t Do It!” moments. However, like anything else, the benefits of inspiration can’t do their work if we’re not open to its incredible power and potential.

Inspiration is food for the body and the soul – we’d starve without it.
Defined as a creative force that stimulates thought or action, inspiration is also defined as the drawing in of breath.  There is no lack of inspiration, but if we’re not deliberately incorporating it into breathing, we’re missing out on a whole lot of mental, emotional and physical fuel… we’re draining our resilience and access to our intuition and its super powers of calm, clear, accurate guidance.

What would happen if you brought more “inspired breathing” into your day? You’d not only feel better, you’d be opening up to more of your creativity, ingenuity, genius, imagination and originality. You’d be breathing new life into what appear to be “failed” goals and expanding into an even greater prosperity consciousness.

To do this, we need to acknowledge, feel and breathe into our feelings and question our assumptions.  Feelings like disappointment, regret and worry are natural and even expected. But are we overly self-criticizing with labels like failure, being lazy, weak or not good enough?  These labels can certainly feel justified given the work/achievement culture we live in. But we must ensure we are seeing clearly.  Often there are circumstances beyond our control or there’s a bigger picture we can only become aware of, after the fact. Further, the stress of unexpected events can cause repercussions we’re not even aware of, like post-traumatic stress and burn-out. These cause huge energy hits on our system…. and yet…we still actually blame ourselves for not achieving our goals!

So what to do? Finding ourselves in the doldrums of unexpected or disappointing results  is hard. Really hard. How do we stay inspired then?

Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).” ~James Baraz.

Ask questions rather than judging or making assumptions:
The brutal critical voice is something we all have. It can crush our spirit – don’t let it! Mindfully ask quality questions to shift perspective:
What would inspiration do now?
As an observer, watching myself, what can be learned from this?
What is a better feeling thought I can have?
Was this a reasonable goal or did I over/underestimate inner and outer environments or time required?
Did I leave wiggle room for adjustment?
Did I re-evaluate my goal to course correct?
In hindsight, what would I do differently?
What attitude serves me best in moving forward?

Use inspiration to see the bigger picture
It sounds weird; but sometimes “not” achieving our goals can benefit us (if we’ll let it):
1. If you’re way too hard on yourself or have some other ineffective habit, not achieving your goal this time round can be a good thing. It’s the opportunity to course correct any self-limiting attitudes so you are genuinely expanding your self-awareness to create a more grounded level of success.
2. The most inspiring among us are those who found a way through crippling adversity –  you can too. Take Your Stand! Decide to pick yourself up and invest in support and self-development; none of us does this work alone!
3. Find meaning in the pain…. what comfort and wisdom will you bring another who goes through something like this? Bring it to yourself first, right here, right now.

This is part one of how to re-frame your goals… If you enjoyed this blog, stay tuned for part two, and let us know what impacted you most and how you applied these tools. (And please share, we appreciate it)!

Cheryl Brewster helps people become aware of their strengths and the mindsets that impair them. She works with both organisations and individuals to help each person take responsibility and move forward in their roles for more empowered experiences and outcomes. Cheryl offers keynotes, coaching programs and private consultations.

Mindfulness – the Super Power You Cannot Afford to Overlook!

by Cheryl Brewster

How does Mindfulness work, how can it help you improve your life and build resiliency? Whether it’s big, little, voluntary, crisis, opportunity or adversity, change is a part of your Hero’s Journey.  When we understand how our “Reptilian Brain” works, embracing mindfulness becomes a “no-brainer” (excuse the pun) because of how it frees us from irrational fears, thoughts and habits!

Things you must know about your Reptilian Brain
(from Shawn Smith’s book The User’s Guide to the Human Mind…. amazing book….. a “must have”:

1. In its effort to solve problems, the human mind can create the very thing we fear – like an over zealous body guard/worry machine, it never stops looking for problems!
2. An anxious mind does not defer to logic and tends to remember events with a lot of emotion attached to them, making us respond as if the past is about to reoccur.
3. Emotions have a way of sneaking under our radar and driving our behavior without our awareness so we train ourselves to avoid what we “think” is coming.
4. The mind creates a “false dilemma” – either I can have the thoughts and feelings OR I can live my life (example: I must get rid of these self-critical thoughts before I can…”)
5. We attach emotional content to thoughts, symbols and memories… sometimes the memory of a painful event (or fear of something we’ve never done) evokes more distress than the actual event.
6. The primitive mind’s response to pain and fear is: avoid, avoid, avoid… it persuades us to avoid things by giving us the pain of anxiety and sadness. (geez, thanks)
7. When we approach something dangerous, the mind tries to smack us with one form of pain or the other – systems like the amygdalae are regularly dishing out punishment to keep us safe!
8. Our limbic (emotional) system and flawless recall can keep us focused on that one single fender-bender, ignoring thousands of times we’ve driven without a problem.
9. The mind’s only job is to protect us and if we’re not careful, we can start to believe what it says…. the more we allow the mind to control our behavior, the more entrenched we become in the kind of thoughts that are dominated by fear, anxiety and depression.  We can begin to see all of this like a frantic dog barking at squirrels… all of these thoughts, feelings and sensations are not threats!

So here’s the juicy part! Once we understand the reptilian brain is just trying to do its job, we can free ourselves from the death grip it has on our ideas, creativity, dreams, goals, communications, desire for authenticity and greater success and happiness in life. In understanding how and why it does what it does, we build awareness…. in that awareness we stop limiting ourselves and free ourselves from irrational fears and unhealthy, reactive outbursts. Through Mindfulness we “pop ourselves out” and even if it’s just for a few moments, done over time, even just 10 minutes a day, the effects of mindfulness are profound!

Definitions of Mindfulness:
1. Mindfulness is the ability to know what’s in your head without getting carried away by it! (Dan Harris, author of 10% Happier)
2. Mindfulness is paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, non-judgmentally (Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Full Catastrophe Living)
3. Mindfulness is me living an authentic life, being present and okay in the transition of uncertainty and shadow as I evolve and grow (Me… Cheryl Brewster)

Benefits of Mindfulness:
1. It’s simple, can be done anywhere and is scientifically validated to improve cognitive functioning, emotional intelligence, health and wellness, decision making and a whole lot more!
2. Mindfulness is breaking a lifetime habit of unconscious repetitive thoughts and fears – it brings us to choice and the ability to take necessary action
3. It drops regret, guilt, perfectionism, self-sabotage and stress and builds up self-awareness, self-esteem making us better communicators and healthier members of society
4. Measurable on brain-scans, mindfulness helps to create new neuro-pathways which means you are evolving your actual physical brain, let alone your ability to enjoy life more!

How it works:
1. It’s simple, can be done anywhere – – just sit straight, notice the feeling of your breath coming in and going out and focus your full attention on the feeling of the breath – that’s it!
2. Notice when thoughts come in and just keep starting over when they do
3. By withdrawing just minutes a day from the chatter of the mind and the incessant worry machine of the reptilian brain, we “harmonize” to the greater wisdom within
4. This “super power” frees us from past conditioning and can bring clarity and focus even in the transition of uncertainty by helping us stay “in the present” not the past or the future which is where the reptilian brain is accustomed to taking us.

The “empowerment” muscles that are formed are priceless…. imagine the possibilities of your Hero’s Life!   It’s as simple as ABC – Aware, Breathe, Connect to the solutions, peace and prosperity that are always present. The reptilian brain may not feel that way, but the truth is, our greatest potential can only be accessed through mindfulness. While this “sounds” easy, it takes commitment, courage and grit to ride the waves of emotion that may come up in befriending that reptilian brain and making it our ally, but it’s so worth the effort…. If you enjoyed this blog, let us know! Cheryl Brewster’s mission with TheIntuitiveLife.com is to support Conscious Changemakers in their Hero’s Journey to clarity, peace, empowerment and confidence through the ABCs of Intuition and Mindfulness. To book your intuitive consultation, coaching mindfulness training for you or your organization, contact us!

Resiliency – Your Hero’s Journey to Peace of Mind

by Cheryl Brewster

How resilient are you? Let’s face it… left unattended, our resiliency can be worn down without our even knowing it! Have you ever found yourself in the position where the energy to be creative, focused and passionate seems a bit, well, shall we say challenged?  If so, you could be suffering from “resiliency burnout” which can happen with sudden, difficult, unexpected change, or over time, with constant stressors that don’t appear that big, but eventually take their toll.

Here’s what you need to know to keep resiliency operating at optimum levels:

Hands holding sapling in soil on black


Resiliency is defined as “that ineffable quality that allows some people to be knocked down by life and come back stronger than ever. Rather than letting failure overcome them and drain their resolve, they find a way to rise from the ashes.”   Even after misfortune, resilient people are blessed with an outlook that allows them to catch their breath, change course and carry on.

1. Get out of your head and into your heart
Mindfulness is a practice that focuses one’s full attention only on the present, experiencing thoughts, feelings, and sensations but not judging them. Judgment wastes an incredible amount of mental and emotional energy. Its labeling into categories takes us “out of flow,” out of awareness of what’s happening here and now and contributes to stress and perpetual mind-loops. To build resiliency “witness your experience as an impartial observer.” And when you catch yourself judging, see that as a form of growing awareness (yay me, I caught myself!) and kindly, gently bring yourself back to the present, in the here and now.

2. Embrace Grit
Personal resilience must be a radical commitment. Without it, you won’t sustain your highest ideals. You’ll be short-changing yourself and the people around you.  Angela Duckworth, at the positive psychology center at The University of Pennsylvania, discovered that “grit” and disciplined self-control predict more success in life than IQ or natural talent.” Grit defined as “the tendency to sustain interest in very long-term goals,”  combined with self-control, over months, years, and even decades, is key to attaining goals and living your true passion in life. Where do you need to make a radical gritty decision in your life? What would that look like? What impact would it have? How would it change the direction and quality of your life? How would it help you embrace uncertainty?

3. The One Minute Meditator!
To remain focused and productive throughout the work day, take mini-breaks to refresh and restore – set a timer so that for every 20 minutes, you take 60 seconds to do something fun:
Daydream about something really pleasurable.
Practice a minute of “Grit” and see/feel yourself totally overcoming challenge.
Be still and absorb the quiet effects of a beautiful picture.
Meditate on your top values.
Then launch back into your work feeling rejuvenated and refreshed.

Research has found this to be one of the most important tools for reducing work stress and increasing productivity – frequent mini breaks that reward and replenish….If science has proven that you’ll get more done, increase your confidence and self esteem levels, then isn’t that worth a 3 minute investment every hour? Imagine the power of potentials becoming tangibles!

4. Embrace Your Hero’s Journey

Mythologist Joseph Campbell uses the Hero’s Journey to describe the cycles of life that we all go through, including “the call” to be our authentic, best selves. The Inherent pain in such a journey is unavoidable; however it can feed our resilience.  Within this journey, we discover our shadow,” (in Jungian psychology, the unconscious aspect of the personality which the conscious ego does not identify in itself). Because we tend to reject or remain ignorant of the least desirable aspects of our personality, the shadow is largely negative so we tend to judge it. We experience inner conflict and struggle within ourselves. However, positive aspects may also remain hidden in our shadow. Resilience is our ability to recognize the shadow when it’s triggered, to remain the impartial witness and accept the gift of emerging consciousness. As Jung said, ‘there is no coming to consciousness without pain.” The paradox is that we can use this pain of growing awareness to actually feed resilience, not drain it dry. Having a clear understanding and foundation in the Hero’s Journey is life-changing and transformative.

Within these four steps, we see that resilience is both innate within us, yet requires nurturing and commitment.  Perhaps the bravest thing we can do, is to live a resilient life… the courage to come back, and keep coming back…that is the Hero’s Journey.

If you enjoyed this blog, let us know! Our mission at TheIntuitiveLife.com is to support your Hero’s Journey in transforming uncertainty into comfort, confidence and resilience. If you would like to learn more about Cheryl Brewster’s intuitive consultations, workshops or keynotes, we’d love to hear contact us here. For upcoming events, see our calendar.