Do You Settle or Do You Stretch?

I spent the afternoon at a friend’s baby’s 1st birthday party this weekend. We all took pictures and videos, got all googly-eyed over his smiles, teary-eyed over his mother singing beautiful songs dedicated to his dad, bonded with the family, and three of us built a toy car for him. He wheeled around the house proud and happy in his bright red and yellow buggy.

It reminded me of how fearless we are as children – no filters, no fears, no limitations.

Boldly going and doing as we choose. Guided by our unfiltered intuition. Creating new paths as we go.

Of course, we know that as we grow up, we have a tendency to adopt many of the beliefs our parents and immediate environment present to us. Sometimes, these become serious limitations in self belief and ability to overcome what’s in front of us. Including the belief that we can’t change any of it. Mon dieu…

So today’s question serves to jog your mind and heart into asking where you stopped allowing yourself to dream bigger, achieve more, and honour the dreams the kid in you still believes in.

When did something seem too much or too difficult for you that you just stopped it in its tracks and looked the other way?

When did you choose negligence to become your norm, and when are you going to choose to respect your desires more?

When did you decide that you were only going to allow yourself this much {     }
instead of this much {
(notice there’s no end to this second one… allowing for limitless possibilities and growth)

Let’s look at this from three different angles, shall we?

Body

Picture yourself doing yoga, or playing a team sport…

When you settle, you never quite manage the pose that everyone else seems to effortlessly move in and out of. You never quite run fast or far enough to keep up with the other players on your team and help everyone excel.

When you stretch what your body can do, you expand your breathing, you gain strength to overcome physical limitations, you extend your life span to enjoy more experiences.

Mind

When you settle on your personal growth, awareness, intelligence and overall achievement, your life tends to go stale (ever told yourself, “I’m feeling stuck?” well, that’s how you got yourself into this space, so now you can go ahead and shift out of it).

Had we not stretched our minds as children, we wouldn’t have been able to acquire the knowledge or skills we make use of now.

When you stretch your mind, you allow yourself to expand your mental horizons, let go of old behaviours that hurt you, release thoughts that aren’t serving your greater good, be more creative, see the world in a new light, and find new ways of creating healthier behaviours to live the life you dream about, and which others around you are actively living now.

Heart

When you settle on feelings of lesser degree, you’re selling yourself short of the love we are all here to enjoy.

When you stretch your heart, you create space for more love, better relationships (with yourself and others), more personal fulfillment and joy.

What Children Help Us Remember

We were not born to be mediocre, or settle for less than good enough. We were also not born into this world feeling less than good enough – you see evidence of AMAZING shining in practically every child’s eyes as they glow through you.

We are here to constantly evolve, move forward, move towards that which we desire.

Settling only keeps us small, feeds fears and doubts, and shortens our capacity to see, hear, and feel the beauty of life.

Stretching, though sometimes painful (and simply because it’s the threshold we cross to access greater love, awareness and overall strength), is what were were born to do.

This life is about what we create for ourselves.

Use your creativity, believe in it, enjoy it.

Every morning, when you stretch physically, give yourself the opportunity to also…

Stretch your mind…

Expand your heart…

Open your eyes

Be amazed…

And be amazing.

Click for the tweetable:

Stretch your mind. Expand your heart. Open your eyes. Be amazed. And be amazing. @KarinPinter

Your BFF

Most of us have at least one. Most of us aspire to be one to someone. So, what does a best friend really do?

Well, your BFF…

Sees you as perfection constantly enhancing itself.

Praises you, even when you’ve been beating yourself up on the inside.

Loves you, absolutely and undeniably.

Acts as a sounding board and a platform for you to feel truly appreciated.

Accepts you.

Allows you to be.

Sees through your walls.

Values you above all else, come rain and shine.

Reminds you to shine.

Believes in you, more often than you consciously allow yourself to.

Wants you to be the best you can be for you.

Shows you compassion.

Supports change.

Adores you.

Encourages you to let go of all anger, sadness, pain and fear, because they’re so detrimental to your health and happiness.

Cheers you on, when others have cut you off.

Knows to discern when you’re putting up walls to hide behind, and when you’re creating healthy boundaries based on what works for you.

Is grateful you’re here.

Senses when you’ve gone into excess over something, and asks you to be kind to yourself and stop.

Gives you compliments.

Stops you from bullshitting yourself, and others.

Inspires you.

Protects you from your negativity.

Meets you half way where there are differences.

Is your best accountability partner.

Lets you cry till you fall asleep, then has a joke ready for when you wake up.

Wants the best for you, even if ‘best’ is beyond the boundaries of what you currently know.

Pep talks the explorer in you to go find out what’s beyond those boundaries.

Expresses love freely.

Tells you that settling into your comfort zone only lasts for so long, and then you need to step up your game again.

Surprises you.

Reminds you that self-destructive behaviour pushes you away from what you really want.

Moves you.

Understands that avoidance is just another excuse not to take care of you.

Knows that being good to yourself shows others how to be good to you, and themselves.

Speaks to you kindly when the other voices are doubtful, skeptical, hurtful, and distracting you from what’s really important to you.

Stands next to you and smiles at adversity.

Reminds you when you’re being childish and self-absorbed, and nudges you to snap out of it.

Motivates you.

Encourages you to keep growing.

Knows that your destructive habits have their seconds counted, and is ecstatic that you’re letting them go.

Celebrates you.

Supports you mentally and emotionally.

Has no interest in hearing what you can’t do, and is eager to hear what you can do.

Taps you on the shoulder when others are enabling your bad behaviours and says, “You know better than to keep doing this to yourself, don’t you?”

Wants all your dreams to come true, and has a party or healthy treats lined up for each one of them.

Helps you build resilience during your weakest moments.

Respects you.

Wants you to suit up and show up for yourself most of all, so that you can be truly happy with yourself as often as possible.

Wants to know what’s important to you.

Knows that like attracts like, and showing others how you treat yourself to your best ability, is what allows others to meet you there too.

Recognises the lies and excuses you tell yourself, and looks you straight in the eyes when it’s time to talk things out.

Because, your BFF is really…

The person looking back at you from the mirror.

Yep…

Your BFF is you, my friend… it’s you.

Are you listening?

And what else are you doing to have a healthy relationship with yourself?

Pretty please… you’re perfect,

Click for the tweetable:

Your BFF is you, my friend… it’s you. @KarinPinter

You Can Look Away

If something seems too hard, too complicated, too far out of reach, not quite what you’re looking for (and yet there’s something alluring about it), if others’ opinions satisfy your ‘reasoning’ (meaning, keeping you in their comfort zone, which you’ve actually outgrown).

And you can keep turning away, day after day, until the years pass you by and the dust bunnies grow a whole commune that occupies your head space, driving your focus away from what really matters.

Watching as key opportunities step into view, which you artfully dodge based on whichever excuse you picked out of the hat this morning.

You can make a pattern out of it for the rest of your life. You can be a Master of Avoidance and keep bumping into the same obstacles over and over. Weaving your way from moment to moment, chasing pavements and wondering where the wonderful life that you grew up dreaming about went, and wondering why it seems so hard to achieve.

You can start to make a difference in your life by stopping yourself from thinking that it’s hard.

You’re attracted to new possibilities, yet fall short of following through with those who really show up for you, because somewhere along the way you stopped believing in what can happen, and felt it wouldn’t last. So you battened down the hatches and looked away, again.

If you want something new and different, then allow yourself to be new and different. And be willing to look at how ‘new’ and ‘different’ show up for you externally.

It includes re-evaluating what’s important to you.

Many people are not willing to look within and strip themselves of all that’s been distorted over time. They’ve never heard of writing out their values and posting them on a wall to remind themselves of what’s truly important to them (have you?). Some prefer to soldier on through life like this. Making excuses about time, external circumstances, a long list of “have to’s” or how a certain behaviour “Runs in the family.” Wishing and hoping for things to change, without ever making a real commitment to themselves to be that change, no matter what it takes.

Are you 100% wholeheartedly committed to being the best for you?

You might delve into a few things to test your spiritual curiosity, and that’s okay. Whatever you choose to look into, it might be exactly what you need in this lifetime to help you along your path, if that’s what you believe in.

Or, you can choose to stop destroying yourself now, and reverse engineer a lot of what you grew up believing in, once you realise how limiting some of it has been for you.

You can make a habit of ‘switching off’ when someone or something seems ‘too much’ – compared to what, though?

You can limit your field of vision. You can become stubborn in your ways, and cement yourself into a life that never satisfies you. And when you hit middle age or beyond, you have an even better ‘excuse’ to offer people – the “I’m too old to change” excuse (if I got a dollar for each time I’ve heard that…). You can patch up the cracks in the walls, hoping that will fix it (of course, deep inside you know it won’t, right?).

You can think you’re pushing someone away. Or realise you’re pushing yourself away from the things you cherish.

You can keep wondering why certain things evade you – career success, love, friendships, money, health… Wondering why your life is never quite good enough. And you can delude yourself by thinking that you’re not good enough.

You can build that into your portfolio of excuses.

And then you can surround yourself with people who are at the same place in their lives. So you all stick together like glue.

You can coddle one another, drink some more, and make “It gets better” your mantra.

And you can do it all over again the following weekend. Weekend after weekend after weekend…

And ‘better’ never really shows up for you because you didn’t realise that telling yourself “It gets better” simply perpetuates the things you want from staying out of reach. You can choose better now. You can make a new habit out of that.

And if that tickled your fancy, then guess what?

If you really want it, it’s time to tear the house down. Strip it (you) from everything that’s just not working for you. Pitch a tent in the garden of your soul and contemplate your life from a new vantage point. Clean, fresh, with the grass tickling your toes. You can find inspiration in new places, new people, you can even look at some of the people in your outer circle in a whole new light and begin to embrace what they’ve been showing you as a whole new possibility for yourself. You can buy a telescope and look up.

You can modify your steps and move towards a life that others had packed neatly into a box labelled “Dreams” and buried in the back of a closet, because the unknown became a scary thing for them.

You can choose to be the difference you seek, look the opportunity/him/her, straight in the eyes and say, “I’m willing,” and let inspiration guide the way.

Whoosh…

You are the Creator of your life. Everything outside of you (work, community, finance, relationships, etc.) starts within you. So you get to change it all up as and when you choose.

You can let your path develop weeds and broken stones, or consciously create a well-tended garden on either side with impeccable pavings.

It’s your choice at any given moment.

You can look the other way… if it pleases you… and if you really believe you can easily move forward in life, attracting and recognizing what you desire with your head twisted sideways.

Can you?

Celebrating your Awesomeness,

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover – Mark Twain.

Click for the tweetables:

Look opportunity/him/her straight in the eyes & say, “I’m willing.” @KarinPinter

Let inspiration guide the way @KarinPinter

You can start to make a difference in your life by stopping yourself from thinking that things are hard @KarinPinter

Duende {The Magic in You}

{click on the video to start playing
and listen as you read…
and when you’re done reading…
close your eyes and keep listening…}

In Spain, we often use this word to describe an artist’s magical ability to transport us into another realm… picture the journey a classical guitarist takes you on as you listen to the enchanting melodies that he conjures up… they may come inspired by the scent of dama de noche on a late summer night, the other-worldly shade of blue he witnesses when the sun looks you in the eyes, or from the memories of lifetimes past in Moorish gardens when declarations of intent were sent by a messenger on a horse.

Duende… Magical. Mystical. Mesmerising. Whoa Nelly…

Duende… When somebody sings a song that transports you to a whole new world of possibilities…

When you meet someone and think, “There’s something about you…” and you haven’t consciously put your finger on it quite yet…

When you create something so pure and so honest, you cry with joy because you have no idea where the inspiration came from, and you want your Muse to stay forever.

It’s a feeling… something intangible, je ne sais quoi, there-is-no-word-just-a-curious-feeling kind of feeling.

It’s out of the box. An unknown that you might fear until enough curiosity has grown inside of you to reach a flipping point, allowing the unknown to be known, and the unseen to be seen.

And suddenly, you wake up to your own duende.

It was never lost, you just stopped looking. And then you easily recognise it in the others around you. You see them for who they really are, and you breathe a sigh of relief.

“I’m not alone anymore.”

No, you’re not. And you never were, my dear friend.

Like the permeating scent of that night flower, wrapping you in its gentle confidence, whispering in your ear as you sleep, reminding you that tomorrow your dreams will still wake up with you, stronger than before.

More colourful. More vibrant. More committed. More in tune with you.

Trusting that what is meant to be, already is, simply because you dreamed it, and you are aware now that it’s up to you to make it happen.

Genius, You.

Gone are the days when you nervously took two steps forward and one step back with no compass other than hope. Now you can take confident consecutive steps to meet what you most desire. One by one, day after day, watching it all come together so nicely because the road is easier to navigate now that you trust your inner guidance. It’s showing you the way and new ways of doing things.

Now that’s what we call ‘magic’.

Asking becomes easy. Sharing becomes easy. Allowing becomes easy.

Being becomes easy.

Ease becomes easy.

No matter how high the walls of a garden, no flower, no matter how seemingly delicate, or whatever obstacles in its path, ever stopped from making its way to the top and finding the sunshine it knew was always there. Because it’s been there since before you opened your eyes to it. And in those silent moments, when you felt nothing was happening, the flower grew stronger roots to support its journey into this new realm of amazement.

And you’re amazing.

It was never soul seeking, it is soul seeing.

{Nice to see you…}

Duende… The spirit that dreams are made of, and how they come to be real.

Trust yours now.  It will bring you closer to those who are already sharing theirs with you. And when you feel even the slightest flurry in your soul, embrace it. It’s telling you that what you’re seeking is already seeking you, already found you. And you’ve known this all along… haven’t you?

Turn a new page in this book you kept looking at and thought you’d never pick up, let alone read. And then all the stories it tells you make sense now.

The rest is still unwritten… And that’s okay, because you don’t need to know or do everything right now. The fear is gone and you’re so intrigued by what’s next that you have no time for doubts or confusion anymore, do you?

Your Master Plan is made up of smaller plans that come together as key elements for your highest intentions. And as you consciously allow them into your existence, your inspiration touches others around you too.

Duende… Magical. Mystical. Mesmerising. Go You…

Click for the tweetables:

Duende… The spirit that dreams are made of, and how they come to be real @KarinPinter

Trust that what is meant to be already is, simply because you dreamed it. Now it’s up to you to make it happen @KarinPinter

How Do You Talk to Yourself?

I’ve come to realise that my body tells me very quickly when I haven’t been loving towards myself.

If I’ve been thinking negatively, feeling unworthy, stressed, anxious, overworked, or if I’ve been ‘beating myself up‘ internally over stuff.

Very swiftly, it will manifest in some way or another to tell me, “Hey, those negative thoughts you were having… well, here they are embodied in, well, your body. How does that feel? Like crap? Oooohhh, okay, so… Now will you stop talking to yourself in such detrimental ways and be nice to yourself?”

I could put it down to over exertion. Sometimes. Mostly it’s thought based. Because the underlying thoughts that drive the over exertion are usually, “Gotta get this done, gotta do better, gotta meet that deadline, got to got to got to…”

BAM…

Tap out.

I hear and see it in how others treat themselves too. And there’s really no need to put yourself through that anymore, is there?

I mean, seriously, for what purpose?

More importantly – you’re better than that, aren’t you?

{if your answer was ‘No’ then I’m heading over to arm wrestle some self-love into you… somebody else can bring you soup}

It comes down to this:

– Feel, think & speak negatively to yourself = feel and be ill.

– Feel, think & speak well to yourself = feel and be healthy.

Which ones are you choosing, and what kind of results have you been getting?

Our choices define the reality in and around us.

{tried and tested by yours truly}

So if you’ve found yourself in a less than desirable physical state, how can you change the way you think, feel and speak to yourself right now, so you can heal faster and get on with the things you’d rather be doing?

… sitting by the ocean enjoying the fresh air…

… playing sports…

… dancing in the rain…

… star gazing…

…enjoying quality time with your VIPeeps (friends, family, partner)…

… finishing those tasks so you can sleep easier tonight, knowing that your responsibilities are taken care of…

Of course, we all have to purge. It’s the nature of change and growth. And we’re better off for it when we’ve allowed ourselves to go through and release whatever we needed to.

Just remember to let go of the negative emotions.

Truth is, once your body has shown you it’s had enough, it means you’ve done more than enough beating up. So stop it. Now. No need for more. Done. Just get on with feeling, speaking, and thinking better of yourself. Even if you had to drag yourself to the kitchen to make your cup of tea. It’ll be the best one you’ve made, and your body will be eternally grateful for it. Honest.

Ever told yourself, “I’m grateful for this moment because I’m freeing myself up of more shit, and I’m aware of how to be consistently strong and healthy now?” Go on…give it a go. You’ll be laughing by the time the tea’s brewed.

Life is a natural ebb and flow of energy. And while this ocean sometimes brings up a few undesirable remnants, remember that most of the time it’s the most inspiring, healing, nurturing element available to us. We always get to choose how we feel, even through challenging times. And it’s the positive feelings are the ones that get us through faster.

These things are not happening to you, they’re happening through you. And as they do, please remember to be kind and easy on yourself. There’s no need to perpetuate the discomfort or create a habit of it.

Replenish yourself. And soak it all up for your highest, healthiest benefit.

Trust that by choosing a new way of looking at yourself, you’re allowing yourself to heal.

You’ll be happier for it, both now and in the long run, and then there will be no space in your mind, body or life for internal words of disapproval – and that’s one of the best gifts you can give yourself.

You’ll notice that anyone else’s words of disapproval will also roll off your back like rubber ducks on a slide.

You can still receive empathy and sympathy from others as you redirect your energy towards your own healing. They key is giving them to yourself first.

Be self sufficient. And remember…

You’re more than good enough.

And instead of feeling unhappy because you couldn’t enjoy the company of those who brought you soup because your energy was depleted… you can enjoy their company and be fully present in the moment, as and when you choose.

Real quality time.

No emergency soup delivery required.

The main purpose of soup, for me, is simply to remind us that true healing come from the inside out.

Peace (in and) out xo

Click for the tweetable:

You’re more than good enough @KarinPinter

Our thoughts define the reality in and around us. Which ones are you choosing & what kind of results have you been getting? @KarinPinter

Life is not happening to you, it’s happening through you. And as it does, please remember to be kind and easy on yourself @KarinPinter

 

 

It’s Oh So Quiet… {The Burning Question}

{beautiful view, isn’t it?}

When I created this blog a few years ago, I originally called it, “In this Silence,” as my tribute to Delirium & Sarah McLachlan’s hauntingly beautiful song “Silence.” It embodied so many emotions that were locked up inside of me; wanting to be expressed, desirous of being heard. I could listen to this song over and over and over without ever exhausting my passion for it.

Over the years, I’ve allowed myself to fear less, share more, release more, write more, and speak more.

I haven’t listened to that song in years now, much as I continue to respect it tremendously.

So now, as I write this in the ‘silence’ of my home, the wind is throwing a tantrum, and somebody’s wind chimes are doing their best to mute the sounds of ruffled trees. And of course, the sky is immaculately clear, because there’s no space for clouds with such determined winds of change.

My morning ritual used to be made up of the following steps: get up, make coffee, switch on the music or TV for some auditory motivation, work, get on with my day. Lately, as I’ve shifted my sense of internal priorities, it’s become something like this instead: get up, read, meditate, make coffee, write, work (aka “paid play”), get on with my day.

Don’t worry – breakfast and a shower fall in there somewhere.

For a long time I didn’t realise that music was actually distracting me from me. Cutting out the sounds of what I needed to hear for my own awareness and well being. Allowing me to communicate with myself more effectively.

Some people have other ‘distractions’ in varying degrees – work, sports, going out often, community involvement, movies, etc.

If used in excess, most of these activities will wear us down and exhaust us, if we’re not actively treating ourselves to some quality quiet time.

Many people are afraid of being by themselves. They don’t want to address the voices in their head, let alone do anything about them. Negative self talk reigns supreme in a lot of people’s minds. So for some, the idea of spending time with themselves in silence sends them reeling to their next avoidance strategy.

So, what is your relationship to silence?

And more importantly, are you using it to your best benefit?

Silence helps us personally – to find answers, sit in peace, heal, understand ourselves, create a safe zone from the rest of the world to process things… and that’s okay. We need it.

And of course, there’s the Busy Silence, when things just get so hectic you want to communicate yet it seems like a juggle.

When used as a means for communication, however, I’m not convinced it’s very effective depending how it’s used.

They say no communication is communication.

Some people apply the silence strategy on others in the hopes that they will ‘get it’.

…I wonder what exactly someone is supposed to ‘get’?

I know and adore some great communicators. Yet when something goes awry, it’s as though a few of them shut down and shut people out. With no real indication of what happened for them to choose to switch off like that.

Some people resort to silence because they’re afraid, ashamed, guilty, insecure, angry, upset, overwhelmed, unsure of how to express themselves… and that’s okay too, if you feel you need to sit with those emotions for a while.

But seriously, when human emotions are involved and there can be so many layers or ‘walls’ that limit expression, when did holding onto any of them and expecting someone else to magically ‘get it’ ever truly resolve any conflict or misunderstanding?

Where is the growth in that?

How can someone else really know what they’re supposed to ‘get’ if all you offer is silence?

And how would you know, if it were you picking dandelions on that side of the fence?

We all enjoy answers. And it’s true that we do not need to know everything.

I’m a firm believer that a little information goes a long way though. And those nuggets are like the bricks that build the House of Communication. Build yours with conscience and consideration, so that once it’s completed, you have a confident structure to rely on.

And remember it can still be fun even during serious times.

In Spain, we have this phrase, “Hablando se entiende la gente.”
(By speaking we understand people)

Take a few moments to write down how you’ve been using silence to communicate with yourself and with others, and then ask yourself how it’s really served you. Maybe it’s time to change your relationship with silence.

What motivates you to use silence as a means of communication?

Was it really helping you, or was it perpetuating strain?

I’ve found that choosing silence as a means of buying space and time, sometimes creates more tension with some people when they finally get around to interacting again, because there can be an overload or overwhelm when the floodgates open. Certain people can’t handle that.

Proposition of the day: if you’re the type of person who has a tendency to leave things for one big chunk of conversation at a time, which may sometimes overwhelm you… Choose, right now, to make a habit of smaller interactions on a more consistent basis, and see how it alleviates any strain you used to feel before. Doesn’t that make you feel better already?

Sometimes, silence does mean the end of a personal or professional relationship that ran its course and there was nothing left to say. Or, the end of one particular dynamic between those two people, because…

Other times, it’s exactly what was needed to clear the air, raise the energy, evolve, and meet again in a whole new light. That’s what I call Healthy Silence.

So…

Do you use silence to evade or to invoke?

Perhaps you used to limit your experiences with certain people because you were so fixated on things being just one way – your way. And if a person couldn’t ‘meet’ you there, then you wouldn’t ‘meet’ them at all. And that’s okay too, if it’s really working for you…

…Is it?

When you hoped for someone else to show flexibility towards you because it was important to you, and they didn’t, what did that bring up in you?

It’s possible that you’ve taken on someone else’s role because you were wounded by their lack of ability or desire to express themselves openly. No judgement on their part. Just be mindful of how you may have inadvertently become them instead and shut yourself off from someone else, simply because you’d exhausted yourself with the first person. It’s like a twisted relay race of sorts, isn’t it?

Think of one easy action you can take, in this moment, to shift your relationship with how you express yourself and allow for a more open, easy flow of communication to invite the life, people and experiences you truly desire.

Got it? Great. Now, do it.

It might mean stepping out of your comfort zone and creating a new habit or strategy, especially if you’ve repeatedly been circling around the same old situations.

There are no manuals and no wrong or right way, because everyone is different, and therein lies the beauty of getting to know one another and see how those differences enhance our lives.

Take a deep breath, and remind yourself that you can still choose what you share, and build a healthier relationship not just with yourself, but with others who are also willing to do the same.

Reach out and touch faith…*

Chances are, someone’s happy to hear your voice and willing to listen without judgement, and keep moving forward with you.

Remember, the clouds are gone.

However, there may or may not be coffee left. You can bring some more if you like. Thank you.

{Wow, I guess I had a lot to say about silence. Funny, eh?}

And now… just Sing.

Click for the tweetables:

Do you use silence to evade or to invoke? @KarinPinter

 

 

 

* Personal Jesus, Depeche Mode