Begin Again Daily, With Your Life as Your Art. And Again. And Again.

Have you noticed how we humans have good days and bad days, good moments, ones that don’t represent our best, and everything in between? Are you 100% clear that it isn’t just you?

Yes. Deep breath.

In living the life of your dreams, I invite you to get clear that Every. Single. Moment. is an opportunity to begin again. Are you on track, or off? How often do you step outside of all your automatic thoughts and feelings to assess that? It’s a skill, like a muscle, that you can develop. It’s all about practice.

Think of it as a healthy ritual that you can make a regular part of your empowered life.

If you know you’re on track, jam on, managing all inner and outer challenges in the process. This management of all things works when you know you’re on the path that’s right for you, because there’s inherent energy and inspiration in that knowledge that you can ride like a wave.

If you realize you’re off track, congrats, first, on the accomplishment of that honest reflection. Pat yourself on the back for it, cheerleading your own progress, and assess further. What small or large shift will get you on your path again?

Then, armed with the results of your assessment, begin.

And know that, as in Ezra Pound’s wise statement above, you’re in very creative company.

 

Life Coaching with Teresa Young
Photo: John Livzey

Teresa Young wants you living your dream, for real. She coaches by phone, in person in Los Angeles, and via Skype outside the U.S.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ready to Design Your Way to Your Artful Life? First Believe in Life. Then Trust Yourself.

From Henry Moore - Life Coach Teresa Young

The quote above from sculptor Henry Moore made my night. I’ve been thinking a lot about the relationship between creativity and health. Reflecting on all the ways we creative types have to express ourselves and all the freedom we have to do so in modern life.

Though I’m not saying it’s necessarily easy. If so, would it, as Kurt Vonnegut said about practicing any art, make our souls grow?

Perhaps, in fact, part of the deliciousness of the opportunity for creative expression is in meeting the challenges of any endeavor, media, or milieu. Be they inner or outer. Short term or long term.

And doesn’t that sound a lot like the challenges and opportunities inherent in living a vibrant life? In truth, the point is really to be fully ourselves, and to act on whatever makes our hearts sing.

That means crafting a lifestyle accordingly. Honoring our creative lives and positioning them front and center.

And as Henry Moore said so definitively, the creative project of our lives is no doubt aided by believing in life. In the flow of all things. Beautiful, yes?

Hmmm. But… what gets in the way? Let me know. In my view there are no more fascinating subjects. And I’m here, in your creative corner.

 

Life Coaching with Teresa Young
Photo: John Livzey

Teresa Young wants you living your dream, for real. She coaches by phone, in person in Los Angeles, and via Skype outside the U.S.

 

 

Creative Life, Meet the Chakras. How Creativity is Good for Your Health!

Why creativity and health?

You may be thinking, what’s one got to do with the other?

The truth is, a lot.

We’re all born creative. Once on the path of adult life, we express our creativity in different ways:  in the vast platform of the arts, yes, but also in innovative approaches to whatever we do, from intellectual pursuits to business, cooking to parenting, use of technology, use of time and energy, and on and on.

Are  you a video game designer? Emergency medical technician? Social media consultant? Teacher? Creativity makes the difference in every profession.

mural-248859_1280When we’re creatively engaged in whatever we’re doing, we’re happily engaged. Deeply satisfied. 100% in it, whatever it is. In the zone. Busy being ourselves.

And guess what?

This is what work in the 21st century is increasingly gonna be about, according to influential authors like Daniel Pink in his bestseller, Drive.

Pink makes the case that, as outsourcing and technology continue to replace our participation in many work arenas, our right-brain, creative capabilities will become our surest routes to sustainable livelihoods.

OK, so where’s the wellness?

There are umpteen adages these days about loving what you do and doing what you love, and for good reason. Living and working in ways that matter to us impact us powerfully.

When this is the case, our energy, our life force, flows, rather than clogging from chronic frustration, hemorrhaging from too many inauthentic yesses, or just flat-lining from freaking boredom.

Creative life, meet the chakras

To illuminate this idea, we’ll spend a little time on our chakras’ responses to the life-affirming dance between creativity and wellness.

If the chakras are new to you, there’s a nice breakdown of the main ones here on mindbodygreen.com. But stay with me ’til I’ve made my creative case.  :)

It starts here:

As we express ourselves creatively in the world, our chakras—the fields of life force spinning in several areas around and through our bodies—are helped in their healthy flow.

—Teresa Young, @leftcoastcoach

Let’s start from the top and move toward the “ground” of our body/minds.

swirl-755909_12807th Chakra Health

Through contact with our personal creative fire, we tap into collective creative consciousness and universal awareness.

And no worries if this concept feels foreign to you. We don’t have to be 100% present to this level of awareness to reap its health benefits, as long as we aren’t closed in our thinking.

Stay open to the unknown mysteries and benefits of living your creative life fully. It’s very good for us, and costs zero.

butterfly-744115_12806th Chakra Health

If our unique spin on creative expression has a satisfying place in our lives and work, we’re fully “at play” in the game of life. 

As we live informed by our creative vision and imagination, our “third eye”, the deep wisdom source within each of us, is active, open, and conducive to vibrant health

We dare to dream, and our body/minds respond in kind. Inspiration fuels us.

This is good.

5th Chakra Health

street-sign-141396_1280Creative expression that takes its place in the world, rather than just in the privacy of our imaginations, requires our acts of will, our empowered intentions and committed follow-through.

This satisfying way of living takes speaking our truth in life. 

We don’t have to be the best at it, or famous for it, whatever it is. We just have to risk being passionately who we really are

And not just once a year on summer vacation, but rather as part of the regular, chosen rounds of our days and nights.

Beautiful.

wood-195922_12804th Chakra Health

We can even say that healthy creative expression is love in action. Full engagement at the heart level is a form of giving back to life that also feeds us as we craft our livelihoods around our passions.  

Inspiring, right?

If this seems daunting, consider that it may mean living more simply than the lifestyles we often see modeled in 21st century Western culture.

This is great for our hearts and heart chakras, for the powerful engines of our bodies and the energetic fields that fuel them. 

3rd Chakra Health

light-681540_1280Living our unique creative expression takes personal power and ownership. It requires consistent positive energy output, and regular self-renewal. 

We can’t fake this, or we end up outa gas, the opposite of empowered self-care and the continuity it ensures in our lives and work. 

If we’re living and working in satisfying, healthy, balanced ways, we’re coming from our cores, as they say in yoga class. This is good for us. 

Very good. 

rose-7771_12802nd Chakra Health

As we live our inner creative fire, allowing its expression to inform the design of our outer lives, we experience healthy 2nd chakra energy:  a sense of well-being, abundance, and gratitude. Pleasure. Sensuality. 

Mmmmmm. Right?

This is gut energy, cojones and ovarios actively engaged. Intuition and attraction fully at play as decision-makers and regulators. 

So, yes, living this way definitely affects our love lives. A nagging sense that something is missing in our relationships could be “right on the money”, and that something could be… us! Our creative satisfaction brings fire to whatever relationship dance we’re doing. 

imagine-606359_12801st Chakra Health

1st chakra health grounds our body/minds in life.

When we design our lives to support our creative self-expression, including how we live, pay our bills, and nourish ourselves, literally and figuratively,  we can truly walk our talk on the planet, in healthy relationship to life itself.

This walk is best lived as its own creative process, rather than as a 4-alarm fire in which we must make changes fast or else, in crisis mode. Try not hurrying, but still noting and following the flow of your energy.

Where does your life force want to invest itself this season? Take those urges and intuitions seriously. Think and feel your way.

So keep on keepin’ on in your creative life

Keep those creative juices flowing, my dears, including on out into the beautiful world.

Don’t hide your light or save it for someday. Express yourself today.

It’s definitely win-win:  our unique contribution to life, and very, very good for us. Now share your insights and experiences on this juicy topic with me here.

 

Life Coaching with Teresa Young
Photo: John Livzey

Teresa Young wants you living your dream, for real. She coaches by phone, in person in Los Angeles, and via Skype outside the U.S.

 

 

Want to Jack Up Your Progress? Then Take This Note: The Fuel is This Version of Self-Love.

On Self-Love - Life Coach Teresa Young

Browsing Twitter last night, I happened on the hashtag #selflove. The definition that some industrious soul had given it on tagdef.com was interesting. Maybe helpful to some. But shockingly limited in my view.

Could have several empowering meanings, but is often used as a politically correct term for solo masturbation.

Basically, I ain’t buyin’ it.

Intrigued, I looked up self-love in my go-to online dictionary. Check out the definition that almost ruined my evening:

1.  the instinct by which one’s actions are directed to the promotion of one’s own welfare or well-being, especially an excessive regard for one’s own advantage.
2.  conceit; vanity.
3.  narcissism.

 

Yikes. It depressed me. And then I realized, I just disagree. In fact, I’m thinking—and feeling—that this definition needs a 21st Century update. A reboot based on our ever-evolving consciousness.

So what’s a self-loving, self-respecting woman to do?

Answer:  I took matters into my own hands. :)

I went back to tagdef.com, entered #selflove, and added my own definition:

Self-love: a healthy, positive sense of self that creates resulting habits of self-nurturance and self-care, rather than waiting for someone or something outside us to deem us lovable and to care for us.

Example Usage:
“Self-love creates a healthy foundation for empowered choices.”

 

And yes, I could have honed my entry more before I acted. But so be it. It’s there in virtual reality. I hope it’s helpful to someone, somewhere, sometime.

Because, make no mistake about it, I do declare that self-love is important in our goal-oriented lives. In our lives of service, productivity, and good works.

Self-love is self-care, and it makes a difference.

I say we’ll do well to take extraordinary care of ourselves as the foundation for whatever we’re up to in the world. Self-love is the fertile ground in which everything we want to be and do can bloom.

From that healthy foundation, let’s go get ’em. And keep coming back to a place of balance, which self-love also facilitates. We can’t go entirely off the deep end tilting at windmills while we’re also clear that a nutritious meal, a good night’s sleep, and other beautiful, satisfying experiences with self and others are next on our holistic to-do lists.

All things in their own time and place, right? Are you with me? Good. Because I’ve gotta go get some rest!

xo,
Teresa

 

Life Coaching with Teresa Young
Photo: John Livzey

Teresa Young wants you living your dream, for real. She coaches by phone, in person in Los Angeles, and via Skype outside the U.S.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meditating On Kindness – 4 Takeaways from Kauai in the Midst of Heart-Break

Kindness on Kauai - Life Coach Teresa Young

I’m meditating on kindness after an immense experience I had with an extraordinary friend as he moved on from this life. Incredibly hard, and incredibly moving.

After being diagnosed with ALS, he had made the inspired decision to settle in Hawaii, ultimately on the beautiful island of Kauai. I’m an enthusiastic traveler with more and more experiences under my belt, but I hadn’t been there. I wanted to go, but not like this.

And yet…

Today I’m reflecting on the wonderful people I met there: retreat center proprietor, rental car dealer, nurses, doctors, and volunteers who had heard through the small-town grapevine about my friend, his lovely fiance, and the hard-as-nails situation they were facing together, their way.

The word kindness doesn’t totally capture my sense of these people. The local folks I crossed paths with are wise. They have their priorities in order. Their hearts are open. They take care of each another.

And when a stranger comes into their midst, they make a new friend. I’d heard that my friend had been warmly received despite his increasingly extreme circumstances, that people had rallied around him and his lady with no other goal than to assist them in ways that were no walk in the park. When I got there, I experienced the same as a lone traveler on a heart mission.

Beautiful takeaways can come from heart-break:

  1. Your small kindnesses may in fact be huge. Free yourself up to be your best with everyone. You may never know the difference you’ve made by some gesture that was effortless for you.
  2. Don’t wait until tomorrow. Go ahead and live passionately, lovingly, with gratitude for life’s journey, today.
  3. Make time for nature, for delicious food and drink, for unhurried conversation. You deserve it, and the difference you make may be right there, in those relaxed moments.
  4. Just be you. Share you with the world, by which I mean with all the fascinating, mysterious souls who cross your path on any given day. You’re an original. Let the world experience you. The real you.

And I’ll be tryin’ to live that way, too.

Meanwhile, dear Ricardo Accorsi will never cease to inspire me. I imagine him designing kickass creative spaces in non-ordinary reality. That thought—and my memories of the kind people of Kauai—makes me smile.

xo,
Teresa

 

Life Coaching with Teresa Young
Photo: John Livzey

Teresa Young wants you living your dream, for real. She coaches by phone, in person, and via Skype outside the U.S.

 

 

 

 

 

 

8 Ways Past Chronic Conflict ~ You Know, the Searingly Painful Kind

Many of us endure areas of real conflict in our lives. Maybe you know exactly what I mean: the searingly painful kind, in which every attempt to communicate ends in anger, sadness, and feelings of failure. Ugh.

The fact is, this mutual “communication paralysis” is oh, so human. What to do? Let’s go there. 

1.  Begin with you.

The bottom line is that this is the only place where you have control. There isn’t a thing you can do about another party’s actions and reactions. But there is some good news: you can work powerfully with the part you play in any toxic chemical brew. 

What’s your goal for communicating beyond conflict? What are the potential land mines in the situation? How can you make your way around them to connect effectively? What’s that going to take from you?

2.  Create a constructive perspective.

Suspend your judgments about the other party. Really. And yes, all your reasons not to will rear up here like ghosts from a grave. It’s understandable, a reaction born of pain. 

Yet this is something we can do to get beyond conflict. We can, as conscious humans with goals that matter, interpret chronic areas of discord in new ways. Try focusing on the commitments and values behind them. 

Let’s say two ex-spouses can’t communicate and their children are caught in the crossfire. Ouch. Right? And oh, so human.

But each can step back, reflect, and find a perspective that eases inflammation. Maybe their struggle is partly about being alike in many ways. Passionate. Uncompromising. Each can assume the other is feeling many similar feelings and frustrations, including a need to somehow stop the madness. They can begin there, primed for progress. 

3.  Stay in the present.

Don’t waste precious energy rehashing the past. In the privacy of your own heart, try releasing all the meanings you’ve attached to past failed communication attempts. Then connect in present time, calmly. Think solutions.

Like the mom and dad above, you can rise to the challenge of engaging in a sustained effort of self-discipline, and model that for the next generation. 

4.  Keep coming back to you.

Let’s imagine another fraught scenario:

An employee can’t relate to her supervisor, feels unfairly treated, and knows this could hurt her career. It’s a catch 22, because her supervisor is currently the gatekeeper to future opportunities. 

If she counts out dramatic steps like going around the supervisor, which might backfire, she can let go of judgments (yes, it’s work). She can create constructive interpretations for conflicts. She can move forward, rather than trying to right past perceived wrongs.  

Maybe she finds a compassionate stance by imagining the supervisor’s difficult personal life. Or inspires herself with an image of the happy day when this relationship is in her rear-view mirror, because she negotiated it beautifully.

5.  Create an intention for the conversation.

Creating an intention aids us in bringing our best to the table. One intention might be for a simple, effective exchange, a small, calm victory. Another might be to stay centered throughout an important conversation, no matter what curve balls we encounter.

Express an intention in language that empowers and energizes you, that serves as your compass in potentially choppy waters as you manage yourself. Remember: work with what you can control. And mean it. Bring your “A game.” Then success or failure isn’t in anyone’s hands but your own. If you conduct yourself as you intended, you’ve succeeded. And grown.

6.  Prepare with a little role-play.

Why do so many of us hate role-playing when we lived it 24 and 7, effortlessly, as kids? It’s in fact a secret weapon toward the goal of self-mastery in difficult situations.

You can share with a helper a bit about the kind of rough weather that may come your way. Then let this good soul help you practice getting beyond those moments in ways that match your intention. Make it fun! It will make a difference, perhaps the difference, in your readiness to communicate beyond conflict.

7.  Agree to stop and re-schedule if needed.

Consider sharing your intention at the start of the conversation. It can help you begin with a new tone and new context. A couple of ground rules also help. One is to stick to I statements (I feel this, I request that), rather than you statements (you always this or you never that).

Another is to agree up front that if either party’s mindset shifts from calm to distressed, it’s time to close up shop and try again later. Like role-playing, this works, if you calmly follow through before slippage leads to wreckage. Then even ending a conversation demonstrates mutual commitment to get beyond conflict, and implies that a next connection is coming.

8.  Imagine the outcome you want, not the one you fear.

Finally, like Bill Murray’s character in Groundhog Day, keep upping your game toward satisfying outcomes. Spend time reflecting on and envisioning what you want. Not pie in the sky, from which you’ll fall hard to earth. How about progress, like mutual gentleness, and mutual commitment to positive results?

Allow what you’ve imagined to guide you—your greeting and tone, the words you use, your facial expressions and body language. Be you. Your best you. What better time than in this pivotal moment?

And I’m here to help! Remember, you—and yours—deserve an amazing life. Don’t let chronic conflict sabotage it.

 

Life Coaching with Teresa Young
Photo: John Livzey

Teresa Young wants you living your dream, for real. She coaches by phone, in person in Los Angeles, and via Skype outside the U.S.