The Obstacle is the Way: When Challenge Becomes Inspiration

by Cheryl Brewster

Feeling discouraged or overwhelmed with life’s challenges? Try this… it works! Amor Fati  is a term from Stoic philosophy that is an absolute lifesaver. It means to embrace your fate… to make the best out of anything that happens, treating each and every moment—no matter how challenging—as something to be embraced, not avoided. To not only be okay with it, but love it and be better for it, so that like oxygen to a fire, obstacles and adversity become fuel for our potential.

The whole idea of Stoic philosophy is based on the word virtue, which is another word for strength, by living in alignment with nature.  In my experience, a critical prerequisite that makes the idea of amor fati even remotely possible, is self-compassion. If you are highly intuitive, empathic, a caregiver, emotionally sensitive, have experienced trauma or have a  tendency to avoid conflict, (sounds like all of us), this is especially important. When faced with challenge, our biology can take over and the amygdala part of our brain takes us straight into fight, flight or freeze. We lose the ability to intuit or think clearly. We put ourselves at risk for losing rational thought by either going numb and shutting down, or blowing up and blowing things out of proportion.  It’s pretty hard to practice amor fati, when all this is going on! It’s called an “amygdala hijack.”

Science defines this hijack of our limbic system,  as an immediate, overwhelming emotional response that comes with a later realization: that the response was inappropriately strong given the trigger. Compassion for self helps to create a pattern interrupt in this biological, chemical explosion… it says, wait a minute, you’re getting upset, what’s going on here, what unmet needs are asking for attention right now, what do you need? This is a form of amor fati… redirecting overwhelm into something more constructive.

Stop the Amygdala Hijack in its Tracks!
  1. Know the signs: Get familiar with the the body sensations that indicate something’s coming up (like a racing heart, sweaty palms, that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach, dizziness, etc.)
  2. Take 3 relaxed breaths to chill – it takes approximately six seconds for the chemicals spewing out from the amygdala to dissipate
  3. Your hand on your heart prompts the release of the oxytocyn, an anti-stress hormone that lowers, blood pressure and cortisol levels
  4. Re-frame uncomfortable feelings by seeing them as chemical reactions taking place in the body; don’t judge! Part of what gets us into trouble, keeping us stuck in these emotional vortexes is self-blame. Of course you have emotional triggers… they are a part of your biology. Use compassion to give them a safe place to land. They’re allowed to be here, even if (especially if) you don’t like them. With kindness rather than judgement, the tidal wave of emotion begins to  dissipate, the overcharged amygdala calms down, so sound reasoning and intuition can be accessed once again. It takes time, but it works. Besides, nothing is more rewarding than transforming chronic worry, anxiety or irrational guilt and thinking distortions.
  5. Create some time for evaluation: sit down and engage your logic with writing – the logical brain wants to help sort through the situation – make a list of what you’ve learned about yourself, and how you can apply insights for future application
  6. Keep practicing being okay with what is, without wanting it to be any different. When we adopt the duo of self-compassion and amor fati as a lifestyle change, we stay more present, enjoying life, and being empowered by it, even when it’s difficult. We work with what we can control, rather than exhausting ourselves with what we can’t. We reverse energy drains to energy gains, and that’s hugely important, to stay on the pathway of living our potential no matter what the circumstances.

This is a game-changer; What a way to live and work… when challenge becomes inspiration and stays that way! Empowerment is strength, the outcome of living in alignment with nature, sound reasoning and your intuition. Contact me if this blog has stirred questions or insights for you or your work teams. By converting challenge to inspiration, we empower individuals and workplaces with resiliency, vision and team work.

“Disempowerment is the nemesis of intuition because it allows the subconscious to protect you from the truths you need to be listening for. Alternatively, when you practice empowerment, your intuitive information will follow in abundance.” – Laura Day

 

 

 

 

Compassion: A Total Eclipse of the Heart

by Cheryl Brewster

If you like me, have a desire to make a big impact on our world, then we must make big impacts on ourselves first. Compassion is the total eclipse of the heart that helps us do that. It is the respect and caring that helps us see the best in ourselves, to move forward from our strengths. When we “take our stand” to be there for ourselves, despite the critical, self-sabotaging, negative memory bias wired into our primal brains, we listen to the voice of deep respect rather than other deep forces. The Joy of Life becomes the filter we look through, even in the dark, amidst the fear and uncertainty of that which we cannot see. We trust ourselves. We appreciate the beauty of our lives as art… we share that which makes us happy. We open up to the power-house of intuition inside us, follow its lead and align with flow, the energy of creation in the quantum field.

When we “take our stand” to live our lives as art, we are the most real, the most rich, the most complete. The art that we share cannot help but uplift and evoke a feeling of connection and rightness in the world. And yet, how often we can hesitate on sharing our creations with the world… am I good enough?…did I do this the right way?..how do I market this?… what if no one signs up?….an endless litany of old limiting beliefs can become a very painful place to live.

We know this, because we’ve all done it. Each time we step into the unknown to embrace “beginner’s mind,” we employ the willingness to drop expertise (or the way it “should” be done),  to learn something new. Yes, it can be frightening but as we’ve all come to realize sooner or later, it is the most valuable and rewarding place on earth… this stepping into a force that is greater than us, and yet is us, if we’d just see it that way.

The recent lunar eclipse seen in the photo above reminds me of the cycle of shadow energies that we cycle through and are evolving from. The yin-yang is simply a part of life; the polarity between love and hate, fear and hope, denial and expression of what is most important. How remarkable to stand beneath an eclipse watching something profoundly beautiful and mystical as metaphor for our own lives. This photo taken from Ambleside Beach in West Vancouver, B.C. on the shores of the Pacific is particularly poignant… The beautiful Lion’s Gate Bridge, a metaphor for the bridge from one world to another. That’s why moon phases are so powerful, not only are we linked to them, like the tides of the sea, they give us an opportunity to release, let go and reaffirm the essence of who we are, and the power of living that essence fully, with courage, tenacity and vision.

The one person you can affect the most is you, and when you are there for yourself, nothing is more incredible than the feeling of caring for yourself. As the Sufi Mystic Rumi said, “Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion…. When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.

I think if we really understood how often and how deeply we impact each other’s lives when we share that joy, we’d be blown away! What would happen if we shared that authenticity more consistently? These are the little things that affects great change… and by you being kind to yourself and really “being there for yourself,” this world that so desperately needs our help benefits. We are all blessed, spiralled higher and strengthened. Key concepts in Rick Hanson’s book, Resilient”  which I’ve abbreviated here, underscore the simple power of self-compassion:

Bring to mind a time when you were on someone’s side.. recall what this felt like in your body.. recall some of your thoughts and feelings, perhaps caring, determination, even a fierce intensity. Then knowing what it’s like to be on someone’s side, apply this attitude to yourself. Get a sense of being an ally to yourself; someone who will look out for you, help you, protect you. Recognize that you have rights and needs that matter.

Be good to yourself because then you’re being good to others. When people increase their own well-being, they usually become more patient, cooperative, and caring in their relationships. Think about how it would benefit others if you felt less stressed, worried, or irritated and more peaceful, contented and loving.

Take practical steps to help yourself really believe that it’s good to treat yourself with respect and compassion. Write down simple statements such as “I am on my own side’ or “I’m taking a stand for myself” or “I matter too” and read them out loud or put them somewhere you’ll see each day. Imagine telling someone why you are going to take better care of your own needs. Imagine a friend, mentor or even your fairy godmother telling you to be on your own side – and let them talk you into it!

Let us give to ourselves, the greatest comfort and strength we wish for others; let us have the courage to drop the illusions that prevent us from practicing “Sacred Activism,” a phrase coined by writer and activist Andrew Harvey, which is about “finding gratitude, forgiveness, and compassion; it is about opening yourself up to the kindness within you, letting go of pain, and making a conscious choice to help heal the world.”

Call to action: in order to make a big impacts in our worlds, we must begin with the self. A total eclipse of the heart is required… the ability to go into the shadow, drop holdbacks and apply compassion to bring new understanding into the light. If you’ve read this article and it’s touched you in woman speaking to an audiencesome way, please share – I’d love to hear from you as we continue stepping into our role of inspiring conscious changemakers, starting with us!

Cheryl Brewster is a professional intuitive, providing consults and workshops to support individuals and organizations to build up resilience in ways that are fun, empowering and sustained for long-term change and thriving in life and business.

Stay Alive All Your Life! – Part 2

by Cheryl Brewster

What makes you come alive and stay that way, even when it’s hard; when you feel yourself shutting down and it takes pure grit to stay true to your integrity and dreams? How do you keep growing to improve personal effectiveness? Author and expert on world mythology, Joseph Campbell knew this one well:

“Suddenly you’re ripped into being alive. And life is pain, and life is suffering, and life is horror, but my god you’re alive and it’s spectacular!”

I love this!  Are you like me? I don’t particularly feel spectacular in the middle of the pain, suffering and horror that’s part of life. But I have been through it enough times, to know that indeed, there is always an equal or greater benefit; something spectacular that occurs through the process, onto the other side. It takes great courage and tenacity to live this way. The results are priceless: Mind mastery and learning how to hold our ground in the face of uncertainty. With an eye to our personal and spiritual development, instead of feeling overwhelmed and beaten, we begin to emerge with skills and mindsets that turn great suffering into great victory.

It takes time, great self-compassion, guts, and the willingness to trust and develop our intuition, to feed our resilience, and to keep the faith, even when it appears counter-intuitive.

As Campbell emphasized:
“People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive. That’s what it’s all finally about…”

Ahhh, what it’s really all about… the rapture of being alive! Business and spiritual leader, Marsha Sinetar, agrees: “It’s the “burning desire to be or do something that gives us staying power – a reason to get up every morning or to pick ourselves up and start in again after a disappointment.”

The rapture of life can only occur with a burning desire for it. How do we keep the fire stoked when it’s hard?

  1. Science proves it: “high vibe” thinking feeds the flame
    Our brains are hard-wired with a “negative memory basis” to notice potential threats and protect us from harm. Studies done by John Cacioppo, Ph.D., (Ohio State University, and University of Chicago), demonstrate that the brain reacts more strongly to stimuli it deems negative. There is a greater surge in electrical activity, meaning our attitudes are more heavily influenced by negative rather than good news. Research has also shown that a specific ratio of five (five “high-vibe” thoughts to balance out the “one low-vibe thought”) is the magic formula to balance out this negative memory bias.  Worth remembering!  Working “with” our physiology rather than judging ourselves for habitual negative thinking is empowering. It course-corrects us into the extra energy of inspired action that we need for true change and growth to occur over the long-haul. As ancient wisdom reminds us, it is our continued commitment to choose “higher vibration” thoughts to feed the flame of desire that feeds our intent, which in turn feeds our will, which feeds our behavior, and ultimately, feeds our destiny. This leveraging of our negative emotions/memory-bias into holistic, focused, resilient, “alive,” possibility thinking becomes automatic over time. And that’s huge. Now there’s hope, encouragement and something to look forward to, even when life is very hard and hasn’t turned out the way we thought it would.
  2. Give yourself credit and re-energize past successes
    What are some of the toughest times you have been through?
    What helped pull you through? What belief, inspiration or process did you use?
    How did you become a better person through this difficulty? How can you apply that to current circumstances?

    3. Have enthusiasm and clear intent moving forward
    Begin and end each day with vision, re-charge throughout and end it in reflection: spend time in the morning in visualization, prayer or meditation to re-stoke that burning desire and pre-plan how you will “Create Your Day.” It takes just one minute of mindfulness several times throughout the day to keep coming back, to build focus and follow-through. In the evening do a review; celebrate wins and also identify where you can improve. Apply the 5-to-1 ratio to rehearse how you will do things differently tomorrow…. by getting excited about our improvements, now course-correcting becomes more positive, more enjoyable. We have something to look forward to, feel more resilient and capable. Now true change is happening, so that even in the midst of our hardest challenges, we have something to hang onto, a reason to keep going, a grit, tenacity and energy that feeds us, that feeds the rapture of being alive!

Call to action: on those tough days; dig deep – bridge the gap of where you are to where you want to be by applying the 5 -to-1 ratio to this very moment… right here, right now. From this viewpoint you actually are where you want to be, only now you get to enjoy the ongoing journey as a way of life, not just sporadically. To paraphrase Campbell…. my god, you’re alive to your innermost being and reality…. and that’s spectacular… that’s what it’s really all about! Draw on the power of intuition to keep feeding the sacred flame within you – that’s its job and you can trust it to help you come alive and stay alive all your life.

 

Stay Alive All Your Life!

by Cheryl Brewster

If there’s a wish that we all had, whether it’s career success, love in relationship or living our fullest potential, underneath each and every wish and goal would be the utter recognition and joy of being alive. That sense of aliveness, of awesomeness in the present moment, whether circumstances are easy or difficult, is the evolutionary consciousness at work in each one of us.  It’s actually the “real us” and what we are really looking for… so often we think we’ll find it in externals; but we won’t because it’s already inside us.  Our external world, therefore becomes the stage upon which we express this ultimate, glorious, inner power that is our great calling.  Albert Camus said it best:

“My dear, In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love.
In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile.
In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm.
I realized, through it all, that… In the midst of winter,
I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.

And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.”

Isn’t this an elegant description of the awe and wonder available to us in each moment, especially in managing change! That inner strength that defies the pain, tragedy and sorrow of life  can be more of our everyday experience. Consider your own life.  Out of the deepest, darkest experiences, will also come fresh new beginnings. Life rarely turns out the way we think it will and hard times can knock us out of the saddle; at times we’re left lying broken and winded on the ground. Life can hurt. A lot. And when we’re in the grit of that knife-edge; when we want to give up on our dreams, we enter the dark night of the soul.  It’s as if we’ve used up our old world, but we must not lose hope that a new one is arriving. This is the time when honest introspection, although hard, allows something more deeply authentic to arrive. It is in this moment of pain, that we have an incredible opportunity to transfer the heavy dullness of a lack-luster trend back to feeling and staying alive. From Camus: “But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?” 

In his book “Get Happy Now,” Joseph McLendon III describes a fabulous process to stay aligned with this harmony, which I’ve modified slightly here:

  1. Recognize that every time we feel a heavy or negative thought or feeling inside of us, we can use it as leverage back to this place of aliveness
  2. That “less than” feelings are indicators of past conditioning that are  ripe and ready for release
  3. Release comes more easily and consistently by, choosing a power word to interrupt habitual focus of  these”less than” feelings
  4. In that interrupt, engaging body movement like punching the air with our power word, and jumping up and down or dancing to some goofy moves, creates a momentary gap that has surprised or shocked us out of past conditioning and into the present.
  5. In that moment we tap into the power of that invincible summer within us; we mentally envision and physically/emotionally see, hear, feel and move as the person we really want to be, right here, right now. We visualize the fulfillment of that desire and feel it NOW. Recalling past successes and peak experiences engages the existing neuron pathways wired for success. Adding a smile that activates the vega nerve releases feel-good chemicals into the body to create a state change on all levels…. physiologically we are integrating the joy of life, our own unique energy system on all levels; physically, emotionally, cognitively, spiritually and intuitively. Add a smile, snap your fingers, use your arms to draw a wide circle in front of you while shouting the word “Magnificent!”
  6. This is called anchoring; combining high emotion with a clear mental image of ourselves and/or our goals, with physical movement. Just snapping your fingers can be an excellent anchor to instantly create a state change of “staying alive” and living from your invincible summer
  7. Give yourself a pat on the back as an additional, final anchor to celebrate the successes of this moment, like “way to go, or “I did it!”
  8. Perform at least five times a day consecutively for 10 days and soon, the ability to leverage heavy or negative-feeling emotion/thoughts becomes automatic… now we’re talking quantum field where the ability to take action becomes more automatic and effortless
  9. Hand write (yes by hand, not typed), a script and read out loud daily, with feeling

One of my favorite scripts that I’ve collected through the years (this one again by McLendon), is called My Magnificent Day:
“I’m healthy, happy, and full of joy and excitement. I smile most of the time and I’m excited about the future to come. I’m enjoying the energy that I have and the friends that I have the privilege of being in my life. I am grateful beyond measure for all of the many blessings that I have in my life and I am ecstatic about the ones to come. My greatest joy is helping others see their happiness and glow with positive energy and expectancy.”

I’ve found the greatest success by creating my own visualizations to capture my goals and creating a morning ritual of waking up to feelings of enthusiasm to create my day. I then read my personal script out loud, with feeling. The profound power of this simple tool is ridiculously enjoyable, easy, fun and SMART! It gets results. It’s vibrancy of life that Norman Vincent Peal so eloquently describes as enthusiasm:

Many often accept the humdrum life without making a fight for a better one. We think in a downbeat way that maybe we just don’t deserve more. One of the greatest human needs of our time is a weapon to fight mediocrity, one that teaches us how to make sure of zest and vitality and the creative forces buried deep within us. Enthusiasm makes the difference between success and failure.”

Call to action:
So often we postpone or delay our peace and happiness.  We live humdrum, mediocre lives. We get caught up in the past where guilt lives. Use guilt productively; it’s a flashing beacon letting you know things have to change…. drop the past by using the physiology of anchoring to get you back into your body, and use it to enjoy this place of invincible summer inside you. What happens when right here, right now, you take just one minute to walk through the exercise above? You’ll feel better and be on your way to enjoying a more magnificent day, enjoying the awe and wonder of you. You will be “staying alive all your life,” deepening personal effectiveness and self-worth.

If you enjoyed this blog, let us know! And check out the services offered to support you in this very important and powerful process.

To your magnificence as a Conscious Changemaker and the continued mastery of stress management.

 

Is it time for a Self-Care Makeover?

by Cheryl Brewster

Energy. We love it. It makes us feel good. When we have it, we enjoy life and get more done with less hassle and more ease. It makes sense then, to think the thoughts and do the things that energize us. However, as we know, day to day living and unforeseen events can distract us and take huge withdrawals from our energy reserves. If we’re not careful, an overdrawn energy account becomes the norm rather than the exception. Before you know it, we’re running on fumes. Literally. And that’s not fun. Left unchecked, burn-out and its twin sisters fatigue and exhaustion come to visit and it feels like they’ll never leave. It can seem like we’ve lost ourselves, and the ability to bounce back to previous energy levels can be challenging.

I know. I’ve been there. Big time. We all have or will at some point in our lives. However, the essential wisdom that can arise, if we’re open to it, is pure gold. Out of great tragedy can come great triumph, out of great pain; purpose, and out of great confusion; clarity. It’s why I’m so passionate about the work I do… as each of us re-frames what drains us into what empowers us, miracles of being and doing occur. We become living legacies! So it’s important to ask:

  • Are your self-care strategies solid?
  • Are you evolving them to step into your greater potential?
  • How often do you use them?
  • Are they working?
  • What stops you?
  • In the changing fortunes of time and circumstances, asking “why” self-care is important, you anchor the deeper meaning of your life. That personal anchor is important. It needs to be strong so that no matter what the seas of life are doing, you’re equipped for the weather. Nothing is more exhilarating.

Self-care isn’t selfish, it’s essential.  It’s about actively looking after your own health and well-being, so that you have the energy to support the people and the things you love. To commit to self-care is to value yourself, your loved ones, your calling and your profession. Not holding your self-care as sacred, important and meaningful short-changes the very people you’ve sworn to protect and the very fabric of your soul. From my perspective as a professional intuitive, self-care is a life-long discovery and practice that supports the purpose of the life-time.

Self-care “IS” energy – it’s the ground in which the five cornerstones of life; health, relationships, career, community and Self are fed or famished. Compassion fatigue is a risk found not only in the care and wellness industries, but in every avenue of life; if we stretch ourselves too thin, a chronic depletion begins to occur. We must interrupt that pattern.

Feeling good about yourself and your life is energizing. To be really effective in supporting your loved ones and your community, is the willingness to master what is de-energizing. That’s the fast-track to more energy. It may not make sense to the logical mind, but we’re not talking theory here… we’re talking about the quality of your life!

Need more energy? Choose thoughts and activities that energize. From Stoicism (an ancient philosophy of self-control that overcomes destructive emotions that drain energy) we learn that:

  • If an event happened, then it was meant to happen, and we are meant to make the best of it.We don’t get to choose what happens to us, but we can always choose how we want to feel about it.
  • Feelings are emotional energy and nothing is more energizing than using obstacles to our advantage. From that perspective, every event in our life holds a sovereignty that supports us. Everything. We transform victim into victory.

Recent studies from a university from North Carolina show that “acceptance coping” contributes to “post-traumatic growth.” People whose lives had been totally devastated were not only able to move through it, but go in a new direction. As Peter Levine, trauma expert has said…

 “Trauma is a fact of life, it doesn’t have to be a life sentence.”

Energizing declarations calm down the flight/fight response of the brain’s amygdula and are super simple and effective in replenishing lost energy. But you must be firm. You must be a warrior with your own mind. Use these energizing declarations to divert energy from drain to gain:

  • What once stopped me now advances me, so I choose to be kind to myself and accepting of this moment.
  • Events don’t matter as much as my response to them , so I choose to…
  • I use all circumstances to my advantage which means…

Call to action: repeat, repeat, repeat… baby steps advance big results… be patient and be willing to see time as your friend – drop expectations of things needing to be a certain way, and use them to your advantage by being at peace with the journey.  See your life as the work in progress that it is. Creating effective self-care strategies is like highway construction; it’s messy work, there will be plenty of delays and detours, and it takes time. But with vision, commitment and the proper set of energizing strategies that feed the soul, a new super highway is built. And that highway is your personal unstoppable resilience and your personal path to freedom.

About Cheryl Brewster, B.Msc., Transformational Speaker, Intuitive Consultant and Life Coach: Under every difficulty is a greater inner potential that our intuition accesses. My expertise is equipping my clients, whether individuals or organizations with self-care strategies as a path to success.  If you’d like to learn how my intuitive consults, coaching programs or speaking services, can support that, please contact me for a complimentary exploratory call.   As an interfaith ordained minister,  I also offer spiritual counselling and officiate ceremonies for life’s most meaningful moment.

Resilience: The Tension of Opposites

by Cheryl Brewster

Resiliency is the ability to bounce back and stay more centered through life’s difficult events. It is our capacity to manage change, using it to feed our souls, even after it feels like we’ve been drained dry.  Remembering this, especially when it’s hard, helps us make sense of our worlds when they feel chaotic.

Your personal resilience (or lack of it) reveals where you are taking an honest look at your  reality.  Challenge will create a tension of opposites. and this tension is designed to support you being true to you. This intuitive resilience is built in to all of us and is tied to the magnificence of your Soul. Its job is to ensure that you honestly, actively identify and honour your own needs as you take care of others and life’s responsibilities.

What’s important to remember about resilience, and the “tension of opposites?” Our commitment to personal resilience will always help us grow from challenge or adversity. Just as “need is the mother of invention,” challenge is the mother of resilience. Making peace with these apparent opposites is where our power to excel gains quantum fuel. What makes a magnet so powerful is the opposing forces that result in a powerful magnetic energy field. The same is true of resilience:

  • Confusion leads to clarity
  • Boredom creates innovation
  • Pain can feed productive purpose
  • Anger reveals where change needs to happen
  • A lack of energy can reveal the need for more creativity
  • Challenge can feed enthusiasm
  • Creativity transforms resistance
  • Difficulty can reveal easier ways of doing things
  • Struggle births flow

So the next time, you go through something difficult, and start experiencing the “opposite of resilience,” which would be a lack of energy, or not feeling creative or capable, try a “One-Minute Resiliency Recharge.”  Your true desires are being revealed; you need to find out what they are! Set a timer for one minute and:

  • Be Curious: How could this current challenge compliment, rather than oppose or contradict what you’re trying to do?
  • Be Aware: Where are you losing energy? What will help you gain it back?
  • Be Wise: If the tension of opposites supports resilience, what is the new insight or action that is being revealed here?
  • Be Creative: How is this showing you to think, be and act in more empowered ways?
  • One of my all-time favourite “Mindful Minutes”  is to ask myself…. “what would happen if…”
    I chose to be ____________________ about what’s happening (and drawing from my favourite list of words, like: enthusiastic, creative, bold, daring, smart, cheeky, happy, peaceful, confident, successful, enlightened), etc.Robert Fritz echoes this in his book The Path of Least Resistance:

“From this choice the meaning of the word desire changes for you, from “idle wishes and hopes” to “true vision of that which is the highest in human aspiration and vision… as you learn to master your own creative process, you develop a capacity for truth. Good, bad, or indifferent, you will still want to know accurately what is going on.”

The more accurately we can “read” our own lives, complete with strengths and shadow, the more we grow our awareness, intuition and confidence to act.

Call to Action: How will you use the Tension of Opposites to recharge resilience? Email me, I’d love to hear about your experience!
About Cheryl Brewster, B.Msc., Transformational Speaker, Intuitive Consultant and Life Coach: 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 results.  If you’d like to learn how my intuitive consults, coaching programs or speaking services, can support your success, please contact me for a complimentary exploratory call.   As an interfaith ordained minister,  I also offer spiritual counselling and officiate ceremonies for life’s most meaningful moments.

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.

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.