I’m Ready

“Tell the negative committee that meets in your head to sit down and shut up.”
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I’m ready. Ready to take active steps to rid myself of the feelings of isolation and unworthiness. It’s quite a task to undertake, but I’m ready.

As I begin to make changes to my habits of checking in on Facebook or rushing to check in on today’s horrible news about the state of our world, I insert a better habit- I choose to breathe mindfully. The simple act of witnessing one’s own stead inhales and exhales give the brain something to focus on.

You see, we live in a time where the fight or flight portion of our brain known as the amygdala, is in hyper-overdrive. Back when we were cavemen, this part of the brain kept us alive. It is what helped us perceive a  bear as danger and kicked in the necessary fight or flight mechanism. While man’s technologies have updated over the years, this part of the brain has not. We now spend so much of our energy managing tasks, juggling items on our never-ending to-do lists, meeting demands placed on us by others and ourselves. Top that off with our instant access to news and information from around the world, and we are in a constant state of panic.

I simply can’t continue to live like this. When I make choices to shut down my children’s playing because the sensory overload I experience while in the presence of their laughing and screeching makes me lose control of my emotional state, I’m not of healthy mind. I can’t stifle my children’s creativity because I’ve chosen to spend my energy on nonsense that zaps me of mine and leaves me in a constant state of fight or flight. This is no way to live.

Today, I make a conscious choice to instead stifle the negative committee in my own head by choosing to place my attention on my breath.

Breathing in freedom. Breathing out the voices.

What practices in mindfulness help you to calm your inner voices?

Kerstin

Where Did I Go?

It has been quite a while since I’ve posted. I’ve had quite a ride this past year, dealing with some health issues that took my attention. I feel so much better, stronger and have learned a lot on my path back from what was, for some time, a pretty scary place.

One of the biggest lessons I’ve had to confront during my healing is how to live with an overwhelming sense of fear. We are unfortunately bombarded with messages of fear on a daily basis. The constant challenge is to not let it take us down, blocking our view of the joy in our lives that still resides on the other side of that fear. The gift in all of this is that I am even more dedicated to teaching how to overcome fear through the work I do with Improvisation.

I hear this fear from many adults when they say they could never do Improv. There is no truth to that statement at all. Every adult I have ever met was once a kid. We kids played with the utmost confidence because play was our job. So what took away our ability to play? Where did that authentic version of us go? What saddens me most is that the adult story of ability has created a fear-based belief that we would not be good at playing.

I’m excited to tackle this very topic in my upcoming four-week adventure. Join me in exploring where you’ve hidden your belief in your ability to play or the necessity to use play in your daily life. It will be fun. I promise!

Until We Play Again,

Kerstin

Redirecting Focus

I know for a fact there is more than one way to perceive the world in which we live. Society programs us to win, be pretty, get rich, be skinny, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah! The cool thing is, since this is true, there is obviously another side to focus our attention on… THE GOOD!

Hey you! Yeah, you reading this right now…

You are AWESOME!  Thanks for letting that car merge onto the highway in front of you, even though you were running late. Thanks for holding the door open for that lady today. Thanks for looking that guy in the eye as you passed him on the street and smiling at him. You make a mean guacamole, treat everyone you meet like they truly matter to you, and you always bring the best beer to a party. And damn- that body wash you use smells incredible. Thanks for making us so happy when we’re near you!

Do us all a favor, will ya? Refocus your attention on all the awesome things that you do. It helps the entire collective we all swim in feel just that much better.

High Five,
Kerstin

The Unexpected

Whether you are aware of it or not, improvisation shows itself to us on a daily basis. Those moment-to-moment interactions that make us stop and react from a place of authenticity are where life is being lived fully.

I adore this video. It is a fabulous example of life happening and those experiencing it reacting from a heart-filled, authentic space.

May your awareness of each moment of authenticity grow within you today and every day.

Love,
Kerstin

YES! Assignment, August 24, 2015

You’ve just finished one task, but WAIT! Before you dive head first into to the next one, sit still and breathe for just a moment. Congratulate yourself for getting something checked off of your to do list. Reward yourself with a quick listen and a dance in your seat to your favorite song. Don’t have a favorite song? I suggest this.

You are FABULOUS!

Kerstin

 

YES! Assignment, August 3, 2015

Did you wake up thinking “Yes, I’m doing this today” or “No, I am dreading this”?  Be bold and take a step toward turning your dreaded “I have to” into a liberating “I get to” all through the power of YES!

Avoiding an important conversation? Write it down, then practice saying it. If it’s a daunting task, move in the direction of its completion with one tiny step. If it’s as simple as not wanting to crawl out of bed to go for a run, stand up, stretch and get your shoes.

Just say YES! to one thing you don’t want to do. Then, just for fun, track how many yeses come back to you.

“There is no try, only do.” ~ Yoda

Happy Monday,
Kerstin

Connect To Now

Pause for a moment. Take a deep breath. Did you feel the air tickling the hair on your arm? Does it take you to a sandy beach with azure water lapping at your toes? Or is it an arctic frost that’s making you uncomfortably alert? Count to a slow “60” with your eyes closed and find one thing — just one — that you appreciate in this very moment.

You’re amazing!

Love,
Kerstin

YES! Assignment, July 27, 2015

Denied yourself this weekend, did you? This week, say YES! to food, fun and frivolous consumption. Eat a cupcake like you used to…. smashing frosting all over your face without worrying about the mess. Let your dog clean up the remainder and then run him around the block a few more times tonight.

It’s worth it!

Enjoy,

Kerstin

Connect To Now

Oh wait, what was that? Is your hard drive humming a little too loudly or was it the whir of a fluttering humming bird? Jump up and check. Stop what you’re doing for a sec and appreciate the wonders around you. Take a deep breath, stretch and give thanks for life.

You’re doing great!

Love,
Kerstin

 

YES! Assignment, July 20, 2015

This week’s YES! Assignment from The YES! Lab:

Notice yourself holding back from doing that thing you really want to do right now? What keeps you from jumping in and doing it already? As long as that spontaneous thing within your heart doesn’t hurt you or anyone else, go for it! Imagine all of the joy you could be missing out on once you give it a whirl.

It’s hot, it’s sticky and you might just want to rip off your clothes and run through the sprinkler.  Say YES! to being cool. Depending on your ‘hood mates and prying eyes, you may want to wear a swimsuit.

Enjoy!