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

 

 

 

 

Harness the Untapped Power of Procrastination

by Cheryl Brewster

Do you find yourself running into perfectionism? Those debilitating stopping places where no matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to bust through? Me too.  Instead of fighting procrastination,  the tendency to keep putting things off that I find uncomfortable, I’ve come to see it as an early warning detection system that I can use productively. In fact, procrastination can be saying that “it’s time for another adventure.”

  1. Procrastination shows up when I’m challenging myself, so yay me! It’s the confirmation and encouragement to bust outside comfort zones and the natural fear of failure inherent in change
  2. It’s the psyche’s way of inviting more creatively and authentically, not bound by old rules of perfectionism. This targets more focus and depth and I’m better able to drop the habitual “negative memory bias” of the primal brain’s need to protect at all costs
  3. Procrastination can be alerting me to low energy which needs to be rectified; it forces me to stop and ask the question; if I’m not in flow right now, what will help me get there?
  4. Procrastination can be interpreted as intuition’s call to be more present. By taking a “Mindful Minute” to check-in, I’m acknowledging and centering myself into a more nurturing state of acceptance. I get to enjoy this moment rather than dread it;  I get to change my focus from limitation to the quantum field of infinite possibilities.
  5. Procrastination is s a sure sign that it’s time to exchange judgment and self-recrimination for gratitude and appreciation, otherwise life becomes all work and no play; always striving but never arriving, and that’s not fun at all. In fact, the blessing in procrastination in many ways, is the call to more empowered states.

The research on gratitude, kindness and appreciation is astonishing and the antidote to procrastination and perfectionism. 

Thoughts of kindness and gratitude take us out of survival mode and into thriving. At the University of Zurich, a study demonstrated that when you display kindness or compassion, a hormone called oxytocin shuts down the survival centers in the brain’s amygdala. Since the amygdala is wired for four basic emotions: fear/anxiety, sadness/pain, anger/aggression and love/joy, oxytocin “cools off” the brain circuits that are wired for survival, leaving a love and joy for life. From this state, we’ve got access to expanded states of consciousness that invite flow, creativity and solutions we can’t see when we are in survival mode.

Gratitude and appreciation return us to logic of clear thinking and the ability to master unhelpful and destructive emotions.  As Nassim Taleb, a scholar on uncertainty noted, “real strength lies in the control or the domestication of one’s emotions, not in pretending they don’t exist.”

So the next time you go into the “spin cycle” of procrastination with its inherent subtle and not so subtle feelings, habits, conscious and unconscious programs, remember… every challenge contains within it, the solution. Even procrastination therefore, serves a productive purpose and the sooner we leverage it, the better we feel, the deeper we go into the joy of creativity, authentic living and the fulfillment of creative desire and accomplishment.

Call to action: the next time procrastination or fear of failure comes up for you, consider using it as your early warning detection system, alerting you to self-kindness, appreciation and gratitude to birth something new. You’ll be glad you did.

If you enjoyed this article, let us know! Share your insights and experiences as you “harness the power of procrastination” to live more creatively and authentically, with better results and greater joy.

Getting Things Done: Heaven or Hell?

by Cheryl Brewster

Are you creating heaven or hell in your daily duties, projects and priorities?
Wouldn’t it be great to “have fun to get more done?”
We’re usually taught the opposite… that we can’t have fun, “until” it is done.

Rumi’s wisdom reminds us of the power of choice we have:
The world exists as you perceive it.
It is not what you see, it is how you see it.
It is not what you hear, but how you hear it.
It is not what you feel, but how you feel it.

  • If the world exists as I perceive it,  then “having” to get things done, can take on its own form of hell
  • Yet we do this to ourselves all the time through over and under commitment
  • However as Carl Jung says, “no tree, it is said can grow to heaven unless its roots reach down to hell,” which means that we live in a world of paradox and it’s important to make peace with that paradox and find its sweet spot.

One way of doing that is to realize, that we have an inner stillness inside, that has never been disturbed and never can be. This inner  success mechanism is our essence… even when it “appears” not  to be.  Daily calibrating to this higher frequency inside of us, along with daily clearing of old limiting beliefs are essential to our well-being and our productivity.

  1. It’s not what you see but how you see it.
    Take a look at your “to do list” today. How you see it can be from a place of:
    …worry; I’ll never get things done (aka, stress!)
    …confusion; I don’t even know what to do/what to start first (aka, panic which leads to paralysis which leads to procrastination.)
    …frustration; how can I get anything done when I’m  not well and don’t have the energy? (aka, helplessness which leads to despair.)

I find it helpful to work with “The Law of Opposites” to come back to a more balanced perspective. As Neal Donald Walsh, author of Conversations with God notes: As soon as you decide who and what you are, everything unlike it will come into the space… you may choose to see this “opposite” as a gift bearer, bringing you a chance to experience and express peace or as a thief, stealing your peace from you.

Rather than judge ourselves for not getting enough done, or missing something, we can remember to declare our “Stand” for what we do want, so that when the opposite shows up, we see it as a gift of growth through self-inquiry. Using Rumi’s wisdom and asking, how am I really seeing this situation can now change the entire experience! Joe Dispenza teaches in his “Create Your Day” philosophy:  “The reason nothing changes is because you have not mastered self-observation.” The more we follow that self-observation, the more we can appreciate how our innate wisdom, our intuition, is guiding us into greater states of flow.

If you are finding yourself trying to be super effective only to find yourself losing ground, then take heart! Self-observation is key, and when the Law of Opposites shows up in your life, remember that it is here to HELP you! Apply Rumi’s timeless wisdom and ask your own reflective questions; here are some samples;

The world exists as you perceive it.  (Is this the world I really want to keep creating?)
It is not what you see, it is how you see it.  (Am I looking through the eyes of heaven or hell, through love or fear?)
It is not what you hear, but how you hear it.  (Am I hearing this objectively or taking it personally?)
It is not what you feel, but how you feel it.  (Am I feeling this with compassion or with loathing)?

  • Take Your Stand for what inspires you.
  • Use that inspiration when the law opposites show up
  • See the law of opposites as the gift-bearer of choice: will you see it as a way to express peace or as a thief that steals peace from you?

Our perceptions do create our realty. In each moment, we have the opportunity to take personal responsibility for more empowered living.  We begin to see where we are not victims of our circumstances… in fact, the opposite is true… we are dynamic and victorious when we use the Law of Opposites for what it’s meant for. As Neale Donald Walsch so eloquently writes: “you will rejoice because you will see “opposition” as a sure and certain sign – that you are on the journey of transformation; the road to glory; the higher path.” He echoes Rumi’s timeless wisdom with his own:

“If, at any given moment, you are being afraid, it is because you choose to be.

If you are being joyful, it is because you choose to be.

If you are being annoyed, it is because you choose to be.

If you are being harassed it is because you choose to be.

If you are being loved, it is because you choose to be.

If you are being ignored it is because you choose to be.

If you are being helped, it is because you choose to be.

If you are being hurt, it is because you choose to be.

If you are being wise, it is because you choose to be.

If you are feeling wronged, it is because you choose to be.

This list could go on forever. Indeed… it actually does.”

Call to Action: How will you use the Law of Opposites in getting things done? Email me, I’d love to hear about your experience!

woman_speaking_to_audience

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, 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 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.

How to Live Your “Calling”

by Cheryl Brewster

Do you have a “calling“? That deep sense of purpose or urge within you that “must” be explored.

Are you:

  • Feeling a shift coming; a hint of something new that hasn’t quite arrived yet?
  • Already working on your passion with great enthusiasm but results are taking longer than expected leaving you with a feeling of stagnation?
  • Feeling that your life is in the doldrums… not much is happening and you’re not sure what to do?

These occasions can be very unsettling and we can begin to:

  • Doubt ourselves and the bigger picture of our lives.
  • Give up hope and slip into confusion or despair.
  • Romanticize about the good old days before we followed our passion.
  • Feel anxiety about our future, regret decisions and condemn mistakes from the past.

In short, when things get difficult or seem to have run their course, we get scared and shut down. But we need to do the opposite; we must keep our hearts open.

Gregg Levoy in his book entitled “Callings” describes this ebb and flow beautifully:
“We love to quote the philosopher and poet Goethe who said that “whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. But we forget that he also said, “To put your ideas into action is the most difficult thing in the world.”

And from poet Stanley Kuntiz: “The poem in the head is always perfect. The challenge comes when we try to convert it into language. This is especially so when we discover, as we often do that saying yes to a calling requires not just one act of heroism and risk-taking, but a prolonged period of action that can stretch into years.”

We must remember this when things get hard. We must continue to “take our stand” for our callings. Our callings have two fundamental features to them; they give great meaning to our lives… and they always come with a way through. But we must listen to that intuitive heart centre to find our way!  So how do we stay open to our callings and the new directions they take us in?

6 Simple Steps to Feed the Calling of Your Soul

1. Know Thyself!
Philosopher J. Krishnamurti reminds us that “the mind is the result of the known; it is the result of the past.” This past includes the limitations of a conditioned mind. In order to free ourselves from those limitations, we must be willing to see what’s ineffective in our thinking and release it. Observe yourself – watch how consciously or unconsciously you do things… as awareness and self acceptance increase, so does authentic personal power. These “aha” moments of, “oh, that’s what I really do” are life-changing when we follow through on them.

2. Practice Silence
An occupied mind is a busy mind, too full for anything new, original or creative. Mindfulness steeped in self-compassion keeps the heart and mind open to receive insight. Receiving equals energy – this is critical for those prolonged periods of action that our callings require. Practice silence by moving attention away from a busy, consumed mind, and instead, into the quiet, the stillness.

3. Practice “one-minute comfort breathing”
Risk taking and heroism arise from your bigger sense of self  – your “little I” will be challenged… expect that and be prepared for it.  A breathing exercise that brings immense comfort is “breathing in, I see the me that is uncertain.  Breathing out, I smile a hug into it.”

4. Use fear to your advantage
As Thich Nhat Hanh encourages, “we have the power to look deeply at our fears, and then fear cannot control us. Fearlessness is not only possible, it is the ultimate joy. When you touch nonfear, you are free.”  How do we touch nonfear? Accept yourself as you are now, while simultaneously dropping self-defeating thoughts. We tend to think we’d be free if we didn’t experience fear, but that’s just not the case! If you can be free even though you have uncomfortable feelings, then you really are free! Let’s face it, there’s always going to be something that challenges us, but when you’re not overcome by those uncomfortable feelings, you really are free. So now, we are giving birth to impertability – we begin to cultivate a mind that is beyond disturbance.

5. Practice “what if”
What’s that one thing you’ve been really wanting to do but you’ve been putting off? What will you feel like when it’s done? Just a few minutes visualizing that can free up the energy to take that one first step… and then another, and another.

6. Be strategic with intuition
What does your soul need to replenish itself? If you took just one mindful minute right now to ask that question… you would be tapping into the energy of your calling… you’d be cultivating the wisdom and strength required to do the most difficult thing possible… put your ideas into the world. And that is the joy of living your calling – Take Your Stand!

Call to Action:
Rather than judge your emotions as good or bad…. see them all as equally important. Enjoy experimenting with the steps above and share your experience with me… I’d love to hear from you. Or better yet, if you are new to my work, let’s book a complimentary 15 minute exploratory session. And if you are an existing client and it’s been a while since we’ve connected, let’s get you in for that one-on-one session or workshop to explore and rejuvenate your stand with complimentary 15 minute post session follow-up!

If you enjoyed this article, let us know! Individuals and organizations find Cheryl Brewster’s expertise as a Professional Intuitive, Transformational Speaker and Coach refreshing and timely. Her private clients experience greater clarity and confidence in taking action during transition. In her corporate workshops, Cheryl inspires focus and follow-through. To explore her work further, visit TheIntuitiveLife.com or email cheryl@theintuitivelife.com.

 

 

 

Radical Joy is a Choice

by Cheryl Brewster

Radical Joy is an attitude. A decision.  An acceptance. The path of the peaceful warrior. It cuts through whatever is going on, from minor disappointment to major catastrophe to focus on what’s most important; the power and freedom that come from accepting things as they are, not on how we wish them to be.

This acceptance isn’t giving up or apathy. It isn’t wearing the rose coloured glasses of positive thinking to escape reality.  Instead, acceptance faces reality. Yes, it can be difficult. It can be painful, even excruciating. But better the momentary pain than resigning ourselves to years of it.

Three things happen by accepting (and yes, even loving) what is:
1) Empowerment. In acceptance comes choice; with choice comes action.
2) Non-judgment grows to quiet our internal dialogue; in that stillness creativity emerges.
3) This expanded awareness grows emotional intelligence, critical thinking skills and more accurate intuition.

I love the expression “others get giddy – but I stay gritty.”  I call that “Take Your Stand.” By developing and articulating that stand every day, by recognizing that things will not always be easy, in fact knowing they will be hard, over time we develop an inner resilience and the capacity to actually start looking forward to those challenges. We can handle them. Not only that, we can even find the joy in them.

By dropping the condemnation of an event and its players (including ourselves), we free up more energy. It’s like living an oxymoron, which is why it’s so radical… by accepting what is, we transcend it.

Call to Action#1:  Baby Step or Big Step?
Each step has its place… choose something you’ve been avoiding… what has been your pattern? Are you trying to do too much, or not enough? If too much, then take some pressure off! Take baby steps: what’s a better feeling thought you can have… and another…. and another.

If you find you are not making progress, then you may need slow it down even more… again the oxymoron of pausing to get more done… And if you are ready for that big step… you’ll know it… just do it. The joy of that action, even if you are hesitant, has a sweetness to it that over-rides the resistance.

Call to Action #2: Email me!
There’s nothing sweeter than sharing the radical joy of doing things differently. It deserves celebration. And there’s nothing more powerful in anchoring change, then to celebrate it.

Here’s to your Radical Joy!

Cheryl Brewster is a professional intuitive, transformational coach, speaker, and ordained minister/wedding celebrant. She encourages self-inquiry to drop the stresses in life that detract from accepting and enjoying what is . Whether speaking to business organizations or  consulting in one-on-one personal sessions, Cheryl’s clients appreciate her practical, grounded, inspiring approach to problem solving.

“Accept – then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.” ― Eckhart Tolle

 

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.

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.

What To Do When Mindfulness Gets Harder, Not Easier

by Cheryl Brewster

None of us is exempt from change.
Some of it’s hard.
Some of it’s easy.
All of it requires awareness because change usually requires a different action.

When faced with that difference we can retreat, regress, resist…. Or we can be observant, compassionate and choose better feeling thoughts that free us from “judgement stuckness.”

As we continue along the Mindfulness Journey we’ll often have those moments when the “old (primal) brain” kicks in… it’s only job is our survival and if there’s even a whiff of danger, it’s worry mechanism steps in to stop (protect) us wherever it can.

I’ve begun to look at this “temporary amnesia” as a chance to reboot my system…. One of those reboots includes writing out my “I Did It!” list for the past week (or day). It always reveals an undercurrent of power and flow that the old, primal brain just doesn’t have the capacity to see. This step is important because the more we grow in mindfulness, the more the old primal brain will kick in… good to know so we can acknowledge that like a child having a tantrum when it gets scared, our brain is sending a signal that we can acknowledge but not become paralyzed by.  In fact science proves this!

Author/neuro-science researcher Mark Robert Waldman reports that the brain rewards itself with the pleasure neurochemical dopamine every time you savor even the smallest success, and that dopamine programs the brain to work harder and accomplish more goals. He says that “business success (and to a large extent, personal success) depends on the act of writing.  Studies show that when you think about a problem or a desire, your language-based centers in your neocortex go too fast for the more ancient parts of your motivational brain to respond to. Writing slows down your thoughts, and brief phrases will stimulate your brain to take action.”

Use your whole brain – slow down, be mindful. Write!

When we add Mindfulness to the writing process we are reminded that as we switch gears from one part of the brain to the other, it really is safe to do so. It becomes “safe” to make change. This is potently true in goal setting, and by celebrating past successes, we are feeding future ones.

Take a minute…
Write out your “I Did It!” list for the past week…. You’ll be delightfully surprised… you’ll be seeing your life from another perspective that feeds resiliency and present moment awareness. You’ll be building on your personal and business success because you’ll be feeding your brain (let alone your self-esteem).  Email us for your complimentary “I Did It! worksheet if you don’t have one yet! It goes into greater detail of how you can create an “Intuitive Storyboard” of your life that combines writing, vision-boarding, synchronicity and understanding how archetypes can both empower and impede your journey.

Are you in career transition, relationship challenges or some other change? Remember! You have the capacity to handle whatever comes your way. Just because you have a dis-empowering thought doesn’t mean you have to believe it. As Einstein said, we need to remember that the mind is the servant rather than the master and let intuition lead, THEN use the mind to support the process. As you are riding the wave of change, it may feel uncertain, even scary, but with mindfulness, the wave can re-framed. Rather than feeling overwhelmed, we can choose curiosity, creativity to find meaning. The wave is transformed to one that is teaching us mastery, filled with new ideas, inspiration and eventually, yes, even FUN!

I’m here to support you in your Mindfulness/Change Journey:
1. Intuitive Consults/Coaching
2. Tues., June 21 evening Workshop (Summer Solstice Celebration with Potluck App
3. Sun., May 29 full day “I Did It!” Workshop to Achieve your 2016 Goals
4. Corporate Mindfulness Training

Here’s to your “I Did It! Moments!

Cheryl Brewster is a Personal and Business Intuitive, specializing in Mindfulness to reduce stress for peace, meaning and success in life and business. If you’d like to learn more about one on one consultations/coaching or group presentations, please call us at 604-781-4022 or email us. We’d love to hear from you!

Success or Failure – The Key to Problem Solving is Attitude

by Cheryl Brewster

What if our problems aren’t the REAL problem? What if the real problem lies in our attitude about the problem? That’s what Norman Vincent Peale, father of positive thinking cautioned when he said “Any fact facing us is not as important as our attitude toward it, for that determines our success or failure.”

Have you noticed that when you’re on edge with a problem that it can become difficult to stay positive and focused? Have you noticed how your mood is affected and your normal resiliency is challenged? Research shows that it’s easier to believe the” bad stuff ” when faced with challenges that make us feel unhappy or nervous—a phenomenon known as memory bias. “Our moods shape our ability to recall things about ourselves,” explains University of Toronto Psychotherapist, Zindel Segal, PhD. “Naturally, when you’re feeling down, it’s easier to recall failures or times when you’ve messed up. The mind is mired in a negative view. The same holds true for anxiety: Someone who is timid or frightened might be leery of a new situation, might look for comfort in ways she’s been able to secure it before. It’s staying with the devil you know.”

So to solve our problems, we need to be AWARE and check out our ATTITUDES… a subtle but hugely important step that’s easy to miss because it appears so obvious that we skip it.
In the flying industry, a detailed check-list and “walk-around” the aircraft takes place before each flight…. no matter how seasoned a pilot is, this checklist and walk around must be completed each and every time. So too with us, at the start of each day, a check-list and  walk-around our attitudes, will keep us safe, prevent problems that could have been avoided, and keep us motivated in personal effectiveness to reach our dreams and goals.

attitude pirate problemAttitude Checklist

1. Mindfulness
Defined as “paying attention in a certain way, on purpose, without judgement,”(Jon Kabbat-Zinn), mindfulness helps keep our awareness (attention) engaged so we’re able to act consciously instead of unconsciously. Developing mindfulness improves our understanding of what’s going on in any situation. It creates a “pattern interrupt ,” so that instead of being distracted or overcome by emotions or messy thinking we determine where our attitude really is – effective, healthy and empowered, or needing an “attitudinal adjustment.”
Application: pick an area in life that you’d like to bring more success to. Take a few deep breaths and observe from mindfulness… what do you see or hear from this quiet place?

2. Enthusiasm
“Every production of genius must be the production of enthusiasm. “Benjamin Disraeli
Enthusiasm re-frames problems and offers new perspectives…. it grows hope, optimism and gratitude, the great elixirs of transformation. Enthusiasm opens pathways to new ways of thinking which brings more choices in how to respond.  Application: How can enthusiasm help you work effectively in the challenged areas of your life? Decide and take Action!

3. Action
“You must make a decision that you are going to move on. It won’t happen automatically. You will have to rise up and say, ‘I don’t care how hard this is, I don’t care how disappointed I am, I’m not going to let this get the best of me. I’m moving on with my life.”  These inspired words from Joel Osteen say it all… solutions come through action.  Application:  Strengthen your commitment to yourself. What action will you take to move on from your challenges? Because thought precedes all action, what thoughts do you now need to think? What is that internal communication that needs to take place? Commit to action from these empowered thoughts. This is self inspired, personal development at its best.

4. Affirm a positive, enthusiastic mindset to fuel consistent action
Constant, repeated self talk and images that are positive and rewarding, focus the subconscious from what we don’t want to what we do want (and believe we can create).
Be vigilant in catching thoughts and words to “release and replace.” E.g., thinking/saying “I’m always behind, there’s never enough time in the day” is a self-fulfilling prophecy…
Application: Affirm a new mindset and actions with “in-process” statements like “I have a new attitude! Each day  and in every way, I’m more and more effective in accomplishing my goals!”  Here’s one of my favorite daily affirmations based on the Hindu word of “Namaskar”:

“I salute the divinity in myself.
I am strong and able.
I can do all that I need to do this day.
My mind is alert, my body vital and healthy and my way will be strewn with golden opportunities.
No matter what this day may bring to me, there is in me that which is great enough to meet it, overcome it, and be blessed by it!”
Namaskar

5. Make the word “Perseverance” a part of your vocabulary. Be Persevering for and with Enthusiasm!Winston Churhill Enthusiasm
Norman Vincent Peale couldn’t say enough about it:  “Enthusiasm spells the difference between mediocrity and accomplishment.”
Application: When challenge comes, what if enthusiasm became your first response mechanism? Imagine the stress prevention that would take place in this one small technique?

Success or Failure, Mediocrity or Accomplishment, Attitude makes all the difference because it’s a “now” process that activates the happiness, peace and prosperity in the NOW, guaranteeing a future that just keeps getting better and better, no matter what.

If you enjoyed this blog, please ensure you are signed up for both our newsletter and quote of the day. The Intuitive Life is committed to “Inspiring Conscious Changemakers” and we welcome your participation in our growing community! Cheryl Brewster is a certified personal and business intuitive, whose specialty is empowerment through change.

Inspire a Fresh Beginning for Better Results!

by Cheryl Brewster

Inspire a fresh beginning! Inspiration is defined as a good idea; a force or influence that makes someone want to do something or that gives someone an idea about what to do or create.

Inspiration is a vehicle of intuition,  essential to personal development and successful business growth. It’s food for the soul! When we get stuck (which is a part of stretching comfort zones), the Power of Inspiration calms our worried minds, invigorates our pioneering spirit and fires our creativity. Inspiration is the door to infinite possibility, so let’s open it!

Are-You-Willing-To-Be-The-DoorwayIt’s downright SMART to make room for inspiration:
1. Inspiration feeds our goals – an inspired goal is far more likely to be completed than one that’s not.
2. Inspiration is the power of positive change:  if you’ve got something you’ve been avoiding or delaying, what would inspiration tell you? I guarantee some immediate answers you’d never have “thought of!”
3. Studies have shown that inspired people get more done and experience more purpose and gratitude.

To be inspired and stay inspired: sign
1. Inspiration cannot be forced… it “comes” to us… however what helps, is to make time for it…. unplug, relax, and for a few moments right now, take a deep breath and ask yourself, what inspires me?
2. Create an “Inspiration List” – in only a couple of minutes you’ll feel more invigorated and connected.
2. What does inspiration  invokes in terms of feelings and images and write/draw those too. Use the five senses to go even deeper… what song best represents this inspiration? Find it and play it. What body movement would honour this inspiration? Do it. Any sort of physical action helps to make a connection to the brain – to “lock-in” this experience, especially done repeatedly to strengthen new neural pathways.
3. Check your goals – do they inspire you? If not, re-evaluate. If however, your task must be completed, regardless of whether you feel inspired or not, ask Inspiration for its advice… what would make this task more palatable? By connecting with the feelings/images, you’ll find a greater capacity to take action.
4. Inspiration feeds commitment – rather than flash in the pan ideas, inspiration takes you through the long-haul… add an affirmation to the inspiration to fire-up commitment even further.
5. Inspiration is a component of integrity – it keeps us true to what’s important to us and shows us where we are/are not living our values – it helps us course correct and drop negative habits that have built up over time.

Inspire a fresh beginning! Whether personal development, relationships or business goals, inspiration is the energy of action, accomplishment and positive change. It keeps us in sync with the deeper meaning of life, aligned with our values and invites greater openness and flexibility. Essential to positive relationships, communication and common goals, inspiration is a key force behind successful business practices and inter-personal relationships.

 Action Step:
What would inspire you more at home and at work? What steps can you take this week to be in integrity with these possibilities? Inspire a Fresh Beginning, and engage faith, focus and follow-through to determine and accomplish the goals that feed the prosperity of your soul on all levels.

If you enjoyed this blog, please share and send us your comments!  TheIntuitiveLife.com is committed to inspired coaching and workshops that promote positive, powerful change, using Intuition, Inspiration and Imagination – for more information on Cheryl Brewster and her work as a personal and business Intuitive, Coach, and Speaker, email us at cheryl@theintuitivelife.com. Here’s to your Fresh Beginning!