Monthly Web Columns

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LIFE 101


A BIT OF AN OBIT


By Coach Cary Bayer
www.carybayer.com


A major reason why so many people put off doing what they really want to do in their lives is because they think they have so much time left to live.   The average life span of a woman in America is 81.2 years, while for men it’s 76.4.  For women that means just 29,638 days, for men 27,886 days.  If you’re reading this now, ladies, chances are good that more than half of those days are already gone.  Probably even more if you’re a man.
       Each day that passes off the calendar means one less day from that total.  You’re not here forever; there’s a window of opportunity in life, which is life itself.  And that window closes a little with each exhalation of breath.  I don’t say all this to scare you, but to alert you to the fact that time is passing away and, if you’re not yet doing what you’re really here to do, what are you waiting for?  It’s high time that you get on with living the purpose of you’re life that you came to this planet
to live.
       You certainly left your mother’s womb naked in body, but you brought with you a genetic code inherited from your parents and, to a lesser degree, from their parents as well.  You were also born with certain tendencies, talents, gifts that were intended not so much to amuse yourself on a Saturday afternoon as a hobby to unwind from a rough work week doing something that you really wouldn’t do if you were retired or didn’t need the money.  You were given these God-given talents to make the world a better place, to bring the world your very best with these skills you were born with.  Doing anything less means depriving the world of your best.
         But this is not the case: the majority of people in the industrialized world do not do what they enjoy for a living.   It’s fear, of course, that prevents so many of these people from taking what they love to do and bringing that to the world for a livelihood, or more precisely, a lovelihood. 
         One of the most powerful ways to gain access to what you really want to do in life is to do an exercise I have my students do in my “How to Discover & Live Your Purpose” workshop.  It’s called “Write your Obituary.”  While the word obituary puts an even deeper fear into their hearts than doing what they love to pay their bills, the exercise can work wonders.
           It’s true that most people won’t have an obituary written for them after their deaths, unless their well known in the world,  but writing your own obituary will give you the opportunity to see what you really want to do in life, what’s really important to you.  Do you want that obituary to say that you labored for forty-five years in a career that means little to you at best, or that you hated at worst?  Do you want this obituary to indicate that you never did the things that stirred your soul?  This question, of course, is rhetorical, but one thing about it is clear: it forces you to begin thinking about what you want to start doing in life that would make your life one that’s truly worth living, one that gets you up enthusiastically every morning to do what brings you joy and fulfills the meaning of your existence.
        The obituary will help you see what you’re doing that’s inconsistent with your true purpose.  And it will inspire you to change what you’re doing so that you can be on purpose.  And that doesn’t just mean the thing that you do to pay your bills.  You may need a gradual change in that part of your life: like Rome, a business wasn’t built in a day.
        Does your obituary include any mention of your spiritual development? 
It should.  To be truly on purpose you also need to get on with spiritual realization —the primary reason that you came to this planet is for you to realize your oneness with the Creator of this planet.  So find something to help you wake up spiritually—be it meditation, Yoga,
Tai Chi, or the esoteric inner truths
of your religion.
       Now that the obituary inspires you, start today by taking steps to make what you wrote what you do.  You have a gap between your current reality and the life that you aspire to as recorded in your obituary.  If you start closing that gap your life will become so much more exciting, and so much more fulfilling.  It’s the life you were truly born to live.

Cary Bayer is a Life Coach, based in the mountains in New York (845-679-5526)
and by the ocean in south Florida (954-788-3380), who's worked with
Oscar-winner Alan Arkin, David Steinberg, and Quality Inns, and has helped people make their dreams come true since 1973. He founded The Breakthrough Aerobics Inner Workout, teaches Transcendental Meditation, coached hundreds of people, and authored more than two dozen publications, including
The Prosperity Aerobics.

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Emotional and Spiritual Skills for Success-  #4 in the Love Yourself,
Lose the Weight series


by Patricia J. Crane, Ph.D.



Have you ever used your weight as an excuse not to participate more fully in life, not to have a relationship, to avoid sex in the relationship you’re in, not to look for a new job? Are you willing to let go of your excuses? They are just a way of not loving yourself.

Mirror work- talking to yourself while looking in the mirror – is a powerful technique for learning to love yourself as you are making changes in any area. Look into your eyes and say to yourself, “I’m done with excuses. My weight is not the issue. I am willing to participate in life regardless of my weight.” Notice how you feel. Then tell yourself “I love and accept you just the way you are. I support you in all your new habits. You have been doing the best you can. It’s OK. I support you in making positive changes.”
Then tell yourself anything else that is important for you to know/hear.  You are claiming the wonderful being that you are. If you feel a lot of emotion coming up as you do the mirror work, that’s OK!  

It’s important to become aware of emotional triggers for overeating or making choices you know aren’t healthy. Almost everyone uses food to deal with emotional issues at some time or other. It’s how often you do this that determines if it’s a problem.

Starting now, every time you eat (especially outside of meal times), ask yourself first, What am I feeling right now? Can I resolve this feeling without eating? Take some deep breaths and acknowledge that you want to eat, “Yes, I want to eat now, but I can wait out this impulse for 10 seconds. I am willing to feel my feelings and deal with them.”

Here is an exercise to help you develop more awareness around emotions and eating.

Close your eyes, take some deep breaths, and relax your body. Keep doing some deep breaths until you feel relaxed. Now, as though you are an observer of your own life, go back over the last two weeks and notice your eating patterns: when you ate, what you ate, where you were, and who was with you. Don’t judge or criticize, simply notice. When you ate for emotional reasons, what was going on?.......

Now go back even farther in time, letting your mind go to the time you first began overeating…. How old were you? What was going on for you? What feelings were you suppressing?  Accept that this was your way of coping at that time. Feel compassion and love for yourself. Go to another situation where you overate….. What emotions were you feeling then? Find a few others………… Then imagine you are looking at yourself in the mirror. Tell yourself, “I understand more now. I truly do love and accept you just the way you are.”

Bring your awareness back to the present moment. Take some deep breaths and stretch. Open your eyes.

If you found a connection between feeling stressed and eating, here are some easy ways to deal with that. Stress increases your metabolism and so you feel fatigued. This can prompt you to want to eat something like a candy bar for fast energy. Ultimately, this leads to more fatigue because your blood sugar plunges after spiking. First, as much as possible plan your meals so you eat on a schedule. Eat low fat, high protein meals to keep your blood sugar balanced. Second, have some healthy snacks available, like protein bars or veggies and a low fat dip. In other words, prepare ahead of time. Third, practice deep breathing exercises to help you reduce stress.

Learning to handle your emotions effectively is truly an ongoing process. If you started eating emotionally and gaining weight as a child, then talking to your Inner Child can really be healing.

 If you gained a lot of weight after some traumatic event in your life, you may need professional help in dealing with it. Look for a therapist who offers a spiritual approach as part of their therapy. In the US, you can find them advertising in spiritual newsletters. Or ask some friends for a referral. Affirm that you are guided to any resource you need to create a healthy relationship with food. 

A spiritual course, A Course in Miracles, says, “Guilt holds the behavior.” So if you are feeling guilty (or ashamed or embarrassed or even angry at yourself) for gaining weight and not losing it, it’s time to let go of the guilt and any other emotions associated with your weight. True, easier said than done. Begin with “I am willing to let go of the emotions that have kept me stuck.”

For some people, prayer is a potent force for changing behavior. Asking Spirit, God, the angels, or ascended masters to assist you in your desire for changes takes the burden off you “doing it all yourself.”

Are you willing to forgive yourself? At the highest spiritual level, there is no need for forgiveness, but in our human selves it is another piece of the foundation for permanent change. And sometimes that change can occur very quickly when you stop feeling guilty, forgive yourself, and love yourself right where you are at the moment.  Be kind to yourself. You are worth loving!

--Patricia J. Crane, Ph.D. studied personally with Louise Hay and, with husband Rick Nichols, is authorized to lead Heal Your Life® training programs in Louise’s philosophy. She is also the author of Ordering from the Cosmic Kitchen: The Essential Guide to Powerful, Nourishing Affirmations. www.hyltraining.com and www.drpatriciacrane.com