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A "Home Workout" for Your Brain

Mar 20, 2020

Happy Friday Everyone,

It's the end of one of the most unusual weeks of our lives—on the one hand so stressful and uncertain, and on the other, so monotonous and boring.  But no matter where you you fall on that spectrum of feelings, it's all created by your thoughts!

In an effort to help you feel better, I recorded a little "home workout for your brain."  This is an exercise you can do to manage your thoughts and feel better any time you want to.

I hope it helps!  Hang in there!

xo,

April

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Heal Thyself

Mar 17, 2020

Last week I went to the allergist. She put some patches on my back to try and figure out what is causing so much inflammation in my body.

I have been suffering since October.

I went to the doctor about it on the last day of December. But didn’t get relief.

Finally, two months later, desperate and resigned, I agreed to see the allergist.

It’s been more than four months since it all started.

I just kept thinking it would get better on its own. Surely, it will get better soon. It’s got to get better eventually. Why isn’t it getting better? All this, while I suffered.

This is what we do. We suffer along. We think it will work itself out. We think it will get better. It’s got to get better. And if it doesn’t, we assume that no one can help us—that somehow we’re doomed to misery.

And so we continue to suffer.

For me, I seem to hit a “suffering tipping point” at which I’m finally so desperate for relief that I seek help....

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Take a Deep Breath

Mar 16, 2020

Right now, life feels pretty unpredictable and uncertain and unnerving.

This is hard on your brain, which does the job of keeping you alive by being a reliable prediction machine—predicting the problems, figuring out the consequences, and anticipating the threats.

But right now, it's hard to know any of these things for sure. And so, our overall anxiety level rises. Everything starts to feel scary.

I want to give you two things that can help right now.

First, take a deep breath. Literally.

Put one hand on your belly. Inhale through your nose. Fill your belly with your breath and feel it fully expand. When you reach capacity, exhale slowly and smoothly through your nose. Rest at the bottom of the breath. Repeat this nose-to-belly breath ten times, noticing your anxiety lessen with each deep breath.

This nose-to-belly breathing immediately slows your nervous system's automatic response to stress. It signals to the brain that there is no danger and allows you to relax.

This...

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Being Wrong Never Felt So Right

Mar 12, 2020

I am wrong a lot.

I was wrong about thinking I couldn't change.  

I was wrong about thinking I'd never be able to reach my ideal weight.

I was wrong about thinking I couldn't get out of debt.  

I was wrong about thinking I couldn't achieve my dreams.

I was wrong about my long list of faults and my complete lack of worth.

I was wrong about other people and how they should be living their lives.  

I was wrong about my husband and how he should make me feel.

I was wrong about my kids and how they're supposed to behave.

I was wrong about not being able to be happy.

I was wrong about all of it.  Coaching showed me that.  

And learning I was wrong, made everything right.

Here's the thing:  You are wrong too. 

You are wrong about you and the people you love.  You are wrong about what's causing you pain and thinking it can never be better.   You are wrong about what you are capable of and you are...

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Nothing to Worry About

Mar 10, 2020

My husband works for a hospital system.  And over the last couple of weeks they have had lots and lots of meetings about the coronavirus.  

When he gets home he tries to convince me that things are serious.

But I gave up worry a long time ago.

I don't worry about anything.  Because I know the truth: the universe is always working in my favor.  

Everything that happens in my life is happening for me.  For my family.  For my kids.  For our good.

And it doesn't mean that it won't be hard.

And it doesn't mean that it won't feel challenging.

But it's all happening for me.  And so I don't need to brace myself or anticipate the worst or worry.  Ever.

The worst thing that can ever happen is a negative emotion—which is always created by me by what I choose to think.   And whenever I choose to think things that produce negative feelings, those feelings can just be felt.  They cannot hurt me.  They...

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The Perfect Time

Mar 03, 2020

Today I was working with a client on her relationship with her kids and she said, “I just wish I would have known this sooner. It would have changed everything.”

I told her that she learned it at the perfect time. That we all get this work exactly when we need it.

And when we do, it does change everything.

It changes how we see the circumstances of our lives.

It changes how we love the people in our lives.

It changes how we think about ourselves.

I never live in regret for what I didn’t know then. But I will always be glad I found my coach when I did.  And I will be forever grateful for what I was able to create from that moment on because of what she taught me about my brain and my thoughts and everything they were producing for me.

Don’t wait another day wondering if coaching works or if it will work for you.

See for yourself. Sign up for a free coaching session today.

Now is the perfect time to change everything and design the rest of your life...

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Leap Towards Your Dreams

Feb 27, 2020

This year you are getting a whole extra day of life.

A free gift from the universe.

(Or actually, from Julius Caesar, if we’re going to get technical.)

So what are you going to do with your extra day?

The thought of having an extra day and all the possible ways to fill it, reminded me of the idea introduced by Matthew Kelly, in his book The Long View. Kelly points out that we overestimate what we can do in the short term, while vastly underestimating what we can do in the long term.

We all tend to overestimate what we can accomplish in a day. The hours go faster than we expect, and we find ourselves at the end of the day with more to do than we got done. Progress feels slow and difficult. And this leads us to think that we aren’t really getting anywhere.

Our brain notices this. And then starts to extrapolate: If progress is impossible to detect in the little daily things, how are we ever going to make the big thing happen?

Our finite-focused, human brains have a...

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Shine a Light

Feb 25, 2020

This week my son called. He was stressed and worried and overwhelmed and he wanted some coaching.

When he told me how he was feeling, I asked him about the thoughts that were creating his panicky feelings.

He said, “They’re terrible. They’re terrible thoughts.”

He didn’t even want to say them out loud. He didn’t want to acknowledge that he was thinking them. He wanted to just ignore them and pretend they weren’t there.

But what I showed him was that even though he didn’t want to be thinking these thoughts, and even though he thought he shouldn’t be thinking them, the thoughts were still there and he was unknowingly operating from them.

And they were making him feel terrible.

The key for each of us is to get our thoughts out in the open. To look at them. To shine a light on them. To question them. To understand that our thoughts don’t say anything about us.

Our unmanaged, default thoughts are just our brain’s response...

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What Really Matters

Feb 19, 2020

Recently I made a simple mistake that I was pretty upset about. As I was in the middle of beating myself up about this, I had someone pose the question: “Will this matter in six months?”

This question immediately made me stop and think.

As I thought about what would matter in six months, I could see that not only would this error not matter, I probably wouldn’t even remember doing it.

But as I thought about it further, I realized that while my mistake wouldn’t matter in six months, the way I was berating myself would.

I have an old thought pattern that sometimes surfaces when I make mistakes, and even sometimes when I don’t. It says that if I was better (in so many ways), I could avoid all the pain and suffering I cause myself and others. It says, “You’re not good enough and you’re never going to be good enough.”

If I continue to think this thought without interrupting it and without redirecting it and without questioning it, I...

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Love is Always an Option

Feb 12, 2020

Today I want to tell you the secret to the perfect Valentine’s Day:

Love isn’t something that other people give us...LOVE IS A GIFT YOU GIVE YOURSELF.

Wait, what?!

Remember that love is a feeling and all of our feelings are created by our thoughts. Even love.

This means that if we feel love, it’s because we created it with our thoughts.

It’s not because someone said, “I love you.”

It’s not because someone gave us flowers or wrote us a card.

It’s not because they held our hand or kissed us deeply or looked into our eyes.

It’s because, when they did those things, we made their actions mean that they loved us and thinking that thought made us feel love.

Now, you do you want the power of this secret?

Even when they don’t say what we want them to say, and they don’t remember the flowers or the card, or they are distracted or unaffectionate or busy, we still get to make their actions mean whatever we want. We always get to...

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