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.

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.

Resiliency – Your Hero’s Journey to Peace of Mind

by Cheryl Brewster

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

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

Hands holding sapling in soil on black


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

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

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

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

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

4. Embrace Your Hero’s Journey

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

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

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

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!