Metta meditation was brought to the West by renowned teacher Sharon Salzberg. It gives us an opportunity to honor our pursuit of self-resilience and renewal by offering ourselves blessings.
Select a time of day that works best for you to sit comfortably, in a relaxed way, with your eyes closed for five to ten minutes in a quiet space. Gently repeat these blessings to yourself with an intention to let go of analysis or expectation. Dedicating yourself to this practice for five to ten minutes daily will help sustain a strong foundation. Please feel free to incorporate these blessings in other moments throughout the day, when you have time for a moment of reflection.
May I be happy
May I be safe
May I be healthy
May I be at ease in my heart
This may feel awkward to you if you’re someone who’s self-critical and is always taking care of others, but as you build your self-worth, you’ll enhance your ability to serve others in a more fulfilling and balanced way. These blessings will also help you illuminate self-criticizing thoughts and challenge flawed theories of who you are. In the end, the practice of positive well-wishing may strengthen your will to show up for yourself and make healthier choices daily.
It will also begin to open your heart in a way that invites positive change. The blessings upend the negative script you’ve written about yourself, and eventually, the negative thoughts lose power—that’s what I wish for you.
In truth, the judgy voice inside you gets quieter, and from that state of positive self-worth, you’ll be empowered to make healthy choices.
Jolene Boris, MS, RD, CDN, NLC
What nourishes me?
Music-What songs lift me?
Thoughts- What ideas speak to me?
Experiences- What experiences rejuvenate me?
Friends- What people encourage me?
Recreation- What activities revive me?
Soul- What spiritual exercises strengthen me?
Hopes- What dreams inspire me?
Home- What family members care for me?
Giftedness- What blessings activate me?
Memories- What recollections make me smile?
Books- What have I read that changed me?
You may add more to the list. The idea is to get to know yourself and assess whether your're getting what you need in your current environment. If you are, celebrate! If you're not, prepare yourself to make some changes.
I was talking today with a client about the difference between joy and happiness. There is a distinction- don't you think? I think happiness comes and goes. Depending on our circumstances we can feel really happy about something or really not! But, our joy is deeper than our circumstances. Our joy comes from a different part of our soul. Joy is more of an internal attitude we live by. Joy is connected to our character and how we live in the world. Joy is seen throughout our big picture perspective. It is our internal fixed filter we see life through. We can feel very unhappy about a current time in our life but if we tap into our joy it can overwhelm that fleeting sensation. Joy is an inside job and not externally dependent. I think our joy comes from a strong spiritual force within us. We were made to live in our joy. Let this idea sink in a little bit. Which side do you find yourself? If the answer isn't joy - how can you tap into this more sustaining way of thriving in life? Don't settle for less when you were made for more. More JOY!
A great interview with an 11 year old girl that invented the Raise Your Hand patch in the Girl Scouts. Let's all be on a mission to keep our women voices being heard!
Functional Medicine focuses on the how and why an illness is occurring and restores health by addressing the root cause of disease for each unique person. This is a great article with links to more information on managing blood sugar, falling off the wagon with food choices, curbing sugar cravings and so much more!
I recently read a few articles discussing how procrastination was a form of a passive aggressive behavior. It discussed the stubborn part of us that says “No, I’m not going to give that the time or energy it deserves.” Websters says passive aggressiveness is characterized by an indirect resistance to a demand. So if you are faced with some procrastination in your life lets dig a little deeper.
I want to add more positive messages into my brain and cut out some the of the negativity that follows me around. How would I even go about this? I don’t want it to be fake and all pollyana! Well, let’s start with some of the automatic negative thoughts that you might be carrying around. It might look like “I’m never going to get this right.” or “I might as well give up now because it never works for me.” or even “I am not good enough/thin enough/smart enough for this.” UGH! Aren’t you tired of those old, unhelpful messages? I know I am. They trip me up and can affect my mood instantly!
This is our week to focus on positivity! There are many ways to do this. I’m going to throw out a variety of ways to add this into your day. One might speak to you more than another so go with what feels best to you! Even better, try out a few and see what sticks!
1. Inspiring quotes— One of my favorites is “…to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” By Ralph Waldo Emerson. What is one of yours? Write it on a few post-its and stick them around. Maybe one in the car, one on your mirror in the bathroom or your computer at the office. I love the simplicity and power of post-its! Surround yourself with this inspiration daily.
2. Start a gratitude journal — Knowing at the end of the day you will write 3-5 things you are grateful for can help you look for positive nuggets throughout your day. They may be big ones like a good report at the doctor or one of the kids made the tennis team. They may be smaller ones like watching the sweet hummingbird getting in a drink today in the backyard. Unlock your own positive power! The whole act of looking for moments of gratitude can truly shift your focus.
3. Finding a mantra or affirmation —This one might seem more silly but it is backed by so much research it is worth your thoughts! If you have ever taken a yoga class you may have experienced mantra work.
Here are some examples: Breath in calm, Breath out anxiety. I accept myself as I am. I am exactly where I need to be. I lovingly take care of my body today. I will treat my body with kindness today. I have the power to create change. I am a powerhouse. I am in control of my own thoughts.
These are also great for post-its around the house or office!
4. Quiet time or prayer— If this fits for you, I hope you will carve out some quiet time with God. Asking for help to renew your mind daily is a powerful tool. We can retrain our brain and thinking at any age. This concept is called neuroplasticity. This is the brain’s ability to change and strengthen new pathways. If you feel like you have struggled with negativity or pessimism you can work to change these pathways! Making a conscious effort in what you tell yourself is greatly important! If you wouldn’t say it to a close friend or one of your children you shouldn’t be saying it to yourself!
5. Mindfulness and meditations— Hopefully by now you have experimented some with this concept. Sometimes I use the image of a snow globe when I am feeling overwhelmed. Your mind might be cloudy like the snow globe is after you shook it all up! Intentionally, take a few slow, deep breaths as you imagine the snow globe slowly becoming more and more clear. Allow yourself a few minutes to just breathe in the peacefulness.
I love the app Buddhify. It is full of 5-20 minute guided mediations. Some are for helping you sleep, others are just to take a moment while you are in the pick-up line to stop and pay attention to your breathing. Over time this stress relieving act will greatly reduce your reactivity to life and allow more positivity.
6. Read something new— Want to explore more on positivity? Here are a few books to look at: The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, The Gratitude Diaries by Janice Kaplan, Taming your Gremlin by Rick Carson (working on your inner critic) and Positivity by Barbara Fredrickson.
Why is this important? Will it really make a difference? YES! When we talk about how much food can heal our bodies it is just as important to talk about our thoughts healing our bodies! The mind-body connection is enormous and we must give it the respect it deserves. Let’s use this week to become more aware of the mental chatter in our mind and how it affects us. Becoming more curious about your thinking and less judgmental may be a great place to start. What’s going in there? What messages do I want to shift? Learning about your own style of thinking can be empowering! You got this!!!
Are you a journal person?! Oh I am! I’ve kept one on and off for as long as I can remember. It’s rarely a daily habit or even weekly but I think it can be enormously helpful.⠀
The act of writing things out can assist your brain in processing information you may be ruminating over or getting stuck in your mind. We often think and overthink about a problem or a bump in a relationship. The act of writing it out and getting it on paper helps your brain to be able to process the information differently. Often people report a release after writing it out.⠀
If you’ve got something you can’t seem to let go of, I encourage you to try it. Sit down and just start with...this is really bothering me and I can’t seem to stop obsessing over it... See where it goes. You can always rip the paper up afterwards, delete the document or keep it in a journal. Reading back over it can be helpful but the most bang for your buck is just writing it out. ⠀
Your brain will thank you!
Mindfulness. Paying attention on purpose. Fully being in the moment. Slowing yourself down. Retraining the brain. These are some different ways of thinking of mindfulness. Retrain your brain is a great one. Train your brain to focus on what YOU want and not letting your mind run wild. Every time you bring your mind back from wandering you are strengthening your brain muscle. Yes! Every time you realize your mind has wondered off your breath, mantra or guided imagery and you bring it back- you won! The action of coming back is the whole point! Here's to more mindfulness moments!
What are you in the business of? Taking care of your family, work from home, head into the office everyday, your own small business, classes and lectures, a side hustle...whatever your business is you have to take care of yourself! If you don't nurture the physical, emotional and spiritual sides of yourself it is nearly impossible to be as successful as you could be! I know it is hard to find time to slow down and be sure your own needs are being addressed but it is essential. Don't wait until the breakdown- physically or emotionally when you are pushed to the edge and don't have a choice. Invest in you!
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Kelly helped to me eliminate noise and focus on making impactful change. Within several months of our first meeting I was promoted in my professional life and operating with a new set of positive habits in my personal life.
I started seeing Kelly in fall of 2016 on the east coast before she moved out west. We had a connection from the start, and I was thrilled to be able to reconnect years later through her newest venture Kelly Cunningham Coaching! She has a tremendously warm heart/presence which makes those tough conversations and working on bettering yourself much easier. She’ll be your life coach, cheerleader, and 110% will hold you accountable to being kind to yourself while reaching your goals and tackling life’s challenges.
Kelly saw me through an incredibly difficult time in my life and taught me skills I still carry with me today. She never gave up on me and I’m so thankful for that.
- Ms. Cunningham's no nonsense approach to achievement helped me address immediate concerns and create a roadmap for future success.
Kelly has walked along side me for many years through many life circumstances and transitions. When I think of our time together I consider it time spent with a close friend. She is always there to encourage me enthusiastically and equally to hold me accountable and confront me with truth, compassion, and love.
I’ve benefited tremendously from working with Kelly. Her advice has helped ground me when I’m struggling with something in my daily life. She ‘s also helped me better understand myself which has significantly improved my self confidence.
Kelly has been there for me through some of the best, but more importantly some of the worst, moments of my life and all of the ups and downs in between these past few years. She has always seen the best in me and consistently encourages me to see it too. She truly cares about her clients and genuinely wants the best for them. She has a way of challenging you to become your best self, while still making you feel fully supported and accepted exactly where you are. She is patient and non-judgmental. She has been my light when it felt like my life was crumbling around me at times these past few years. She has been a weekly constant in my ever-changing world. Being able to connect from across the country via Facetime for our sessions has been a true blessing in my life. She has shown me the importance of balance, self-care, helped me to understand myself more deeply, and consistently encourages me to trust myself more.