Tag Archives: Dreams

From Intent.com: Goals You Can Achieve

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I absolutely hated running. My legs aren’t very long. I was never very athletic. Anyone I ever saw running looked like they were ready to collapse. I just knew I hated it, which is interesting because I’d never really done it.

This year, as a resolution, I started getting ready to run a 5K mostly because I was tired of saying I couldn’t do something. The surprising thing? I actually love running! I’m still not very fast and my legs have yet to grow any longer, but it turns out I don’t hate it at all. Just the other day I purchased my first pair of real running shoes and I could not be more ecstatic.  Continue reading

10 Quotes to Inspire Your Spirit of Adventure

When was the last time you took a risk? Or when was the last time you tried something different just for the hell of it? We are big believers in having a sense of adventure. Trying new things, especially if they scare you, is the best way to grow as a person. Life lessons are absorbed the best when we put ourselves out there and go for it. Go for the gold! (Are Olympic puns passe already? I think we still have a few days.) In the spirit of going out there and conquering new terrain we’ve gathered up a few quotes to inspire your spirit of adventure!

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Letting Happiness Find You

837693_94992340I’ve placed a lot of emphasis throughout my life on the idea of “doing the right thing.” I’m not talking about actually doing my laundry before I run out of clothes or anything, or recycling for that matter (for all of the environmental science courses and east coast upbringing I’ve had, I really ought to be much better at that by now…) I’m talking more about the elusive art of choosing what’s in my best interest. Historically speaking, I tend to exhaust an extraordinary amount of time and energy to insure that I have listened to myself so wholeheartedly that I will never have to suffer through waking up in my old age and wishing I had listened more closely. For someone so obsessed with not having regrets, it’s ironic that my biggest and perhaps only regret to date is the amount of time I’ve spent obsessing over the very idea of being regret-free.

I struggle immensely with putting an enormous amount of pressure on myself to always choose as wisely as possible. I can even see some of my friends in my mind as they’re reading this, nodding their heads in acknowledgement that I, Laura Max, am royally obsessed with making the perfect choice…whatever the hell that is. (Author’s note: it doesn’t exist. Trust me.) What I find interesting, though, is the that things that have served my best interest the most are things I was more or less forced into participating in, things I had no control over and thought would surely be to my detriment.

Take the movie Mr. Holland’s Opus, for example. For those of you who didn’t wear out two VHS tapes of this ‘90s classic when you were a kid (a la yours truly), the film revolves around an aspiring composer, Mr. Holland, who longs to have his compositions heard all over the world. Hoping to pile together the funds he’ll need to take time off and compose full time, Mr. Holland gets a job teaching music at a local school where he imagines he’ll only be working for a few years. Only a short time into what should have been a brief teaching career, his wife Iris gets pregnant, essentially forcing him to continue working and spend the rest of his working life teaching to support his family. Mr. Holland exudes bitterness as he struggles with living a life that feels far from what he had planned for himself, but then he meets 18-year old Rowena, the gorgeous star of the high school musical he’s directing. With phenomenal talent, she follows Mr. Holland’s direction and plans to make a break for show business in New York City, but to Mr. Holland’s surprise, she asks him to follow her so they can both have the life they’ve imagined, chasing their dreams. It’s only when Mr. Holland makes an active choice to turn down this beautiful woman’s request in favor of the life he’s made for himself that he realizes the reality he was forced into is the one he would have chosen all over again if given the chance.

Ultimately, Mr. Holland gets to live in the relief that he didn’t mess everything up when he went with the flow of life – perhaps the flow of life was even better than what he’d originally wanted for himself. Unforeseen and forced change in direction is uncomfortable and terrifying, but many times we get an opportunity later on to go down the road we thought we should have chosen in the first place. When we ultimately choose our current lives instead of what we think they should look like, we understand that we haven’t been led entirely astray by the non-negotiable forces of the world around us.

Often I am carried somewhere I’m sure I have no business being, only to find out after I’ve arrived there that it’s something I subconsciously wanted the whole time. I can say at this point that without fail, if I am stuck somewhere I feel I don’t belong, life will give me an opportunity to either see that I do belong there or allow me to choose a different direction. I am never without hope if I am not without the willingness to see that my dreams might be coming true in ways I couldn’t have planned myself. The outcomes of where I’ve “chosen” to go, or rather where I’ve been pushed and shoved, are usually not what I planned on.

Most of the time, they’re better.

For more, check out my website, The Light Files, and follow me on Facebook or Twitter.

5 Ways to Get the Best Sleep of Your Life

Sleeping beauty

Sometimes a good night’s sleep can mean the difference between a disjointed, unproductive day and a fulfilling, enjoyable one. Why is that?

Sleep is a time of rest and repair, but even more than that, it allows us to process short and long-term memories, metabolize emotional experiences, and is instrumental in learning. It would follow, then, that sleep deprivation might lead to difficulty with memory, emotional imbalance, and loss of focus, all of which can contribute to a fragmented and uncomfortable state of mind.

There is a reason sleep aids have carved a powerful niche in the pharmaceutical industry, and if you’ve ever experienced insomnia then you can probably relate. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4% of American adults over 20 years old use prescription sleep aids in a month period. And apart from prescription aids, there are boundless other sleep remedies people try, from melatonin to warmed milk and everything in between.

Here are 5 great articles on how to improve your sleep, from some of our favorite sources for wellness content around the web:

Do Sleep Aids Really Work? (Greatist)

14 Ways to Sleep Better Tonight (MindBodyGreen)

Sweet Dreams: How to Sleep Better, Lose Weight, and Live Longer (DrHyman.com)

How Does Sleep Affect Your Sex Life? (She Knows)

 Yoga for Sleep: 10 Poses to Induce Restfulness and Combat Insomnia
(Huffington Post)

We hope these resources help you get a full and restful night’s sleep tonight and every night after! What sleep remedies have worked for you? Let us know in the comments section!

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18154748891333272199Are you ready for a healthy Vegas vacation?

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“Affirmations Are B.S.” and Other Things You Shouldn’t Believe

UpwardBy Orion Talmay

“Affirmations? Yeah, whatever… I don’t do that new age B.S.! That’s only good for weak people with no self-confidence! The people I train don’t need that crap!”

I actually heard these words from one of my fitness mentors I look up to. His huge resistance to the idea of affirmations was kind of shocking to me. I, for one, believe in “that stuff”. Does that mean I am weak? Is it all a scam to make us feel better about life? Am I just a hippie dreamer?

In my free-spirited late teens, I read two books that really shaped me. One of them was The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Dr. Joseph Murphy. Murphy spoke about the power of our thoughts and how they influence what we manifest in our lives:

There is a miraculous curative force in your subconscious that can heal the troubled mind and the broken heart. It can open the prison door of the mind and liberate you. It can free you from all kind of physical and material bondage.

The other book was You Can Heal Your Life by the remarkable Louise Hay. Hay’s philosophy is similar to Murphy’s. In the book she described using positive affirmations to eliminate self-defeating thoughts: “What you choose to think about yourself and about life becomes true for you. And we have unlimited choices about what we can think.” According to Hay, an affirmation is anything we say or think, therefore all of our self-talk is a stream of affirmations. In order to change your life, you must pay attention to your thoughts and choose empowering ones. By choosing thoughts that make you feel good and stating a desirable intention as a daily practice, you are retraining your brain how to think and speak and you are reprogramming your beautiful subconscious mind.

Affirmations are the seeds of your dreams that you plant for later harvesting. By writing your dreams down and affirming them in ink, or vocalizing them out loud, you bring them into the physical realm and one step closer to manifesting. If you say a lie over and over again, won’t you start believing it? If telling a lie can affect you like that, why not tell a good “lie” – one that has the potential to change your life for the better?

Many times when I’ve gone back to read what seemed originally to be “impossible” affirmations, I actually found they had manifested in my life. Who cares if it seems weird and too “outside the norm”? Who wants to be normal anyways? Popular thinking usually turns out to be average thinking. Galileo Galilei was sentenced to spend rest of his life in prison for his ideas. He vocally supported the Copernican hypothesis that the earth is not the center of the solar system, but one of many planets revolving around the sun. Three centuries later he was called the “father of modern science” by Einstein.

When researching this subject, you will find that in this day and age, science is backing “new age” thinking more than ever before.

At the dawn of the twentieth century, the tidy, objective, mechanistic view of the world began to fall apart…scientists began looking into the world within the atomic nucleus, and they were shocked to discover that on the subatomic level, the physical world did not behave at all the way Newton said it should. In fact, the “atom” itself turned out to be a sort of illusion: The closer scientists looked, the less it really appeared to be there…And when our vision of the atom fractured, the foundation of classical physics fractured along with it. Our view of how the world works was in for a radical transformation. – John Assaraf & Murray Smith (The Answer)

Quantum physics nowadays include theories like parallel universes. It’s no longer science fiction that the power of our thoughts affect physical objects and create new realities. No longer are we in an age where meditation sounds “funny.” Today’s science backs up the positive sweeping impact of quieting one’s brain waves into lower frequencies. People are opening up to possibilities in the realm of the unknown.

The ancients knew that space is not empty; it is the origin and memory of all things that exist and have ever existed…[This insight] is now being rediscovered at the cutting edge of the sciences [and is emerging] as a main pillar of the scientific world’s picture of the twenty-first century. This will profoundly change our concept of ourselves and of the world. – Dr. Ervin Laszlo (as quoted in The Answer)

When I train my clients, my rule is: no negative self-talk. “It’s too hard”, “no way can I do it” are being thrown out the window in the first session. I know for a fact that the body reacts to what you tell it. What you affirm feeds your future blueprint. One of my favorite clients once said “OMG, I am so bad at lunges”. So I told her: “Let’s change your self-talk about lunges. I think it would serve you better to instead say that I am getting better and better”. She looked at me frazzled and really forced it out uncomfortably, saying: “I am getting better and better.” Guess what? She did get better and better, AS SHE WAS SAYING IT! She started listening to – and modifying – her self-talk outside of our training sessions and consequently improved on achieving other personal goals.

But affirmations are not enough! If you look at your dirty laundry and say all day long “My laundry is getting cleaner and smells great” nothing will happen… You have to take action. Say you can do it, then do it! Just like saying I am getting better and better, while lunging. Affirmations will put you in the mindset to take action. They will keep you focused on your goals and desires. They will keep your unconscious mind open to all great opportunities around you. Previously you may not have noticed your self-talk if you were not attuned to it; but now that you are aware of its power, you will know to leverage it for positive action.

Please comment below and share your questions, stories, and experiences with affirmations. I would love to hear your thoughts; I greatly appreciate the feedback!

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picOrion Talmay is a fitness expert and life coach who helps her clients transform their bodies and their lives. Her fitness skills include yoga, weight training, kick boxing, Aikido, MMA (mixed martial arts) and Krav Maga. Orion completed the Tough Mudder, a 12-mile extreme obstacle course with an ice pool, electric wires, buttered monkey bars, and more. She’s not all hard-core though; she is also a woman of the arts — loves to dance and sing, went to acting school, and speaks three languages. She is a graduate of the American Academy of Personal Training and is AAFA, AAPT, KBA, and Zumba certified. She is currently working on an online coaching program for weight loss and self development, designed to empower people across all aspects of their lives: physical, mental, social and spiritual. Orion is also working on her first book, about transformational change. Originally from Israel, she currently lives in sunny Santa Monica, California.

3 Ways to Dispel the Fear That’s Holding You Back

Sky & IAlmost everyone holds onto some fear. There’s fear that can kick in adrenaline to help you speed out of difficult situations like a near-miss accident. Then there’s the needless, energy draining kind of fear that holds us back and drains resources. This kind of fear keeps us from being who we are. It brings us to constrict and tighten shoulders, jaws and muscles when what we yearn to do is expand to be who we’re meant to be. This kind of emotional fear feels a bit like wearing a barbed wire fence. Every new move we try hurts. So what happens? We stop moving and get stuck.

How can anyone climb out of a barbed wire fence? Ouch! Is it possible to cut away the fear of pain and become free to move? Imagine taking a pair of heavy-duty wire-cutters and snap, snap, snap! In a few quick, efficient moves cut away every last, tight wire to free yourself up. It’s time to let go and express those heartfelt intentions and live the expansive life.

People who live in fear put up walls around themselves. They create armor so thick that nothing can get out or in. It’s time to tear down walls you may be aware of and take a risk. Do something that you’ve always dreamed of doing. This might be jump off the high dive at the pool, join Toastmasters and face fears of public speaking or simply tell someone you love them.

  1. First, recognize the fears that inhibit. Take a moment and reflect. What would you really love to do that you don’t do out of fear that you’ll be ridiculed, fear of failure or something else?
  2. Next, take a moment and imagine what’s the worst that could happen? Imagine success instead. If the desired leap of faith is not life threatening or harmful to anyone, take the next step.
  3. Dare to do what you dream. But don’t stick with the mental stuff. The mind sometimes creates demons that hang around and scare us into paralysis.

Moving into the heart, imagine joining the belly dance class and performing in public, or speaking those words to the one you love. If your aim is something big, like starting a business or appearing on a TV show, then work your way up to the big moment through learning about the process. Go back to school. Learn to manage, do interviews and express yourself in ways that unleash your positive creative energy. Get out and grow. The extraordinary mystical poet, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (better known simply as Goethe) wrote, “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.” Enjoy the leap of faith!

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Debra Moffitt’s book, “Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life” will be published by Llewellyn Worldwide in May 2011 (www.awakeintheworld.com).  Read more at www.debramoffitt.com Her essays and articles appear in publications around the world and focus on drawing attention to the spiritual in a mostly material-minded world.  She presents workshops in the U.S. and Europe.

 

Originally published January 2011

Elephant in the Room: Inspiring You to Seize the Day

7f62488974a669b22b50c25272727cccDear Lovelies,

We don’t have a letter this week and I thought I’d try something a little different. Something sort of extraordinary has happened that has inspired me and I’d like to share it with all of you.

I’ve been a writer all my life. Not always professionally, but a good pen (preferably blue) with college ruled notebook paper has been where I’ve felt home since I was a child. I’ve gone through several evolutions with how writing would fit into my life – taking turns as a journalist, wannabe novelist, “hobby”-est – you name it and I tried it/thought about it/didn’t make it through. It was in a dark movie theater in Queens that it all sort of clicked into place – screenwriting. After all that time it was strange how easy it was to see that’s what I needed, that’s where home truly was. It just made sense.

So I packed up my bags and I moved west. It took a year to get my feet on the ground and off of generous family members and friends’ couches, but I finally found a job that would allow me to have my own place, afford to live and give me time to keep chasing the dream. I started taking classes and soon the dream started evolving. I developed a new-found confidence on stage and performing started edging its way in to my frequent success fantasies. I found the story I wanted to write, knew the part I wanted to play, all I had to do was get out my pen, put it to paper and write my way to where I truly felt I belonged.

Of course, especially in this town, self-doubt creeped in with the new desires. Do you know how many aspiring screenwriters there are in Los Angeles? More than you can count, and those are just the ones that managed to make it into city limits. And acting? I had no experience outside of high school drama. I sure as hell didn’t look like someone meant to be in front of a camera. The doubt made me bitter and negative. Even though I had a great job that afforded me so much I felt miserable because it wasn’t exactly what I wanted. I hated myself for being so ungrateful, for not being more motivated, for not working harder. Maybe I didn’t want it as badly as I thought, and just that idea made me sick to my stomach.

I began bargaining with the ordering forces of the universe, begging for a sign that I was doing the right thing. I wanted it so badly but the obstacles seemed insurmountable. I just needed some help. I was already on the trail, I just needed a magic dose of courage to put on my shoes and really chase what I wanted.

Then I heard from a friend that she was leaving her steady job to pursue her passion project full-time (you’ll actually be hearing about it quite soon!). I was in awe of her courage – the journey she is about to embark on will be challenging and daunting and beautiful and will save lives. She said she knew it was what she wanted for a while but it took a few other things to push her into taking the plunge, and now that it was here she was terrified but invigorated. She hadn’t worked so hard on anything in a long time. The passion was evident – it radiated off of her. And while being so happy for her, I found myself feeling jealous. I wanted to feel that passion again, as I had when I was sitting in that movie theater, when I first moved to Los Angeles, so sure and so excited.

That’s when I remembered a scene from the Steve Carrell movie, “Evan Almighty.” It is mostly a physical comedy about a man who is tasked with building an ark by God himself. In the midst of the madness, Evan’s wife, played by Lauren Graham, gets some unsolicited advice from a kind stranger that has always stuck with me.

We are not just handed the answers, but given the opportunity to find them for ourselves. My friend was creating her own opportunity, and my envious feelings stemmed purely from me waiting around for someone to hand me my dreams with a bow wrapped around them. She stopped floundering or wondering and decided to just do it.

So this week I say let’s all take a page from her book. Let’s stop waiting for answers in signs or feeling sorry for ourselves when our lives don’t take the immediate direction we want them to. See each turn as an opportunity and take it. Find your passion and follow it.

Tell me how it goes lovelies. I’ll see you again in two weeks, but as for now I have to head out to get a box of red hair dye, a gym membership and new box of blue pens.

Best wishes,
Cora

The Secret to Sticking with Anything

Pedra do Bau [Climb]How many times have you started something new (exercise routine, meditation schedule, writing that book, a new project), got pumped and excited about it, and then within a few weeks or months it slowly faded into a faraway memory? It’s normal and happens all the time. Gyms plan that every January 1st memberships will soar due to New Year’s Resolutions and then by March and April it’ll be back to mostly regulars.

It’s not that these people are slackers or don’t care about their body. What’s really going on is their level of commitment isn’t high enough. That’s because any goal, intention, or desire takes time to evolve into something that you care enough about to make the required level of commitment.

So what’s the required level of commitment? The secret to sticking with any goal is having a solid 100% commitment. (I would say 110% to emphasis how big this level of dedication is, but doing that has always been a major pet peeve of mine.)

It’s very important that your commitment isn’t 99.9999999%, but it’s 100%. Why? Because, even with a 99.9999999% commitment, you still have a little opening to rationalize and talk yourself out of the action. This is not because you’re a bad person, it’s because all change involves some discomfort. If given even a slither of space to choose comfort over discomfort, you’re more likely to choose comfort.

That little .0000001% of space allows for talk like this: “I don’t feel like it today”, “I’m so busy with work ”, “there’s just a lot going on right now”, or my personal favorite (because I’ve it used for years) “I’ll just do it tomorrow and get back on track then.”

When you have 100% commitment to something, feeling like doing it has no importance on whether you do it or not. There is no option; it’s in many ways liberating because you make it a non-negotiable. You don’t give yourself the burden of having to choose every day. Then one day it’s become a habit that moved from your non-comfort zone to your comfort zone!

To make a 100% commitment, it’s important to always focus on the WHY of the commitment. Why do you want to commit to having some discomfort for a while? It’s the why that will get you to a place where you can be 100% committed to something. And it often takes a little time (or a lot) for everything to click and your why to become so clear and strong that the required 100% commitment is there.

For example, I’ve practiced meditation on and off for almost 15 years, and while I always ended a session feeling amazing, I couldn’t seem to stick with my commitment to do it daily. It was only when I was ready to eliminate all excuses (and this came after something “clicked” inside and I knew I needed it every day to express my highest self, which became a priority), that I could make the 100% commitment.

Don’t put yourself down if you haven’t been able to have the motivation or commitment to stick with something, but examine the WHYs. From that awareness, you can make 100% commitments to things that align with you and your unique values and path.

In what areas do you want to be more committed and why? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.  

Wordplay Wednesday: Change

flying
It’s a constant battle
Between two voices in my head
They’re both mine but I don’t trust
The one that in my dreams has led me
Towards a situation
Where I know I won’t be safe
It’s always a man that’s pulling me
But I can’t focus on his face
I try to turn my head to see
So that I remember
What he looks like to report him
It’s like I know how it will end
But I can’t get a hold of what’s real
I feel like I’m sedated
And in my dream that’s my fault
I’m weak and feel frustrated
That I’m not acting like the person
I know myself to be
I can’t even walk in a straight line
But I’m more worried what others will think
About the fact that I can’t seem to
Just pull myself together
It’s like someone turned the world sideways
When I liked it the other way better
He leads me to a party where
My friends all seem to be
And I’m trying to tell them
How scared I am
Of this person
That they don’t see
And as this dream keeps repeating
I think that person might be me
And I’m just pissed off at myself
For always loosing control
My self-destruction goes against
The girl who does what she’s told
And in this ebb and flow I’m safe
I don’t have energy leftover to
Pursue the things I want in life
I know what I need to do
I’m clear on what I care about
And what I do now isn’t it
So what’s keeping me from moving forward?
Why don’t I just quit?
And start down the right path
I’m not afraid I won’t succeed
More though that I will
And where exactly that will lead
Because I’ve gotten so used to
The routine that’s become my life
And my cynical nature
Who and what I do not like
But recently I had this vision
That I’m relatively sure will happen
If I don’t make a change right now
And start to fill my life with passion
I’ll end up the wife at the dinner party
Who always drinks too much wine
And brags about what she could have been
If she’d just taken the time
Well I don’t want to be that person
And I know I’m well on my way
So I’m going to just go for it
And change my life today

I wrote this in 2002 at age 26, after a friend suggested I try to write about a dream I kept having.

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