8 Ways to Find Focus Amidst Chaos

Lately, I’ve had a hard time staying focused.  With the recent back-to-back hurricanes, fires out west, Mexican earthquakes, ongoing political unrest, global tragedies,  and racial disparity, I’ve found myself dipping more and more into my NY Times app, and social media, for continual updates.

There’s a lot going on in the world.  And, it’s September.  Time to get back to work and back into focus. 

If only it were that easy. 

No matter where you find the chaos, whether it’s in the outside world, inside your home, or within your mind, it can be hard to focus when chaos is all around you. 

I’m a sensitive person, and I often find it very difficult to tune out the chaos.  The sensitive part of me just loves to dive in to fix things.  (Or at least imagine fixing things.)

I have to be quite vigilant with myself, especially during times of chaos and transition, in order to stay on track and focused.  Here some of the techniques I use myself, and which I  share with my clients.

Meditate:  Meditation helps to discipline your mind.  As little as 5 minutes a day, consistently, will help you develop a sense of centered focus.  This is a place you can return to over and over again.  I start each day with either a 20-minute, or hour-long meditation. When I miss a day, I feel off center.  It’s that simple.

Schedule Your Media Visits – Turn off distracting notifications on your cell phone and computer and close your email reader.  Decide upon specific times to look at news, social media, and anything else that pulls you down the rabbit hole.  It’s amazing how easy it is to focus without all those continual electronic interruptions.

Try Focus@will  — I love this service.  Focus@will offers a variety of musical choices designed to help keep you on track.  I listen to it when I write, and when I’m in creation mode.  It really helps. (In fact, I’m listening right now.)  Click here for more info. 

Take breaks –  Take regular breaks to flush out your mind.  Even a 5 minute break can work wonders.  Use this time to take a walk, sit quietly, breathe, dance, stretch, sing, create, or meditate.  This will help you clear your mind from overwhelm, allowing it to focus much more easily.

Set Boundaries –  Set boundaries for yourself.  If you’re a sensitive person like I am, boundaries are absolutely crucial.  It can feel hard to create boundaries, especially if you’re sensitive, but it’s essential for finding focus.  Your boundaries might include: regularly scheduled alone-time, saying no to countless volunteer jobs, clearly communicating how you expect to be treated, and limiting your time around people who drain you.  Setting clear boundaries can be one of the most rejuvenating things you’ll ever do for yourself.

Try EFT Tapping – At the start of a session with some of my clients, we frequently do a round or two of tapping just to help focus the mind.   Tapping will help you clear the fog of an overactive mind, and bring you back into your body. If you’re familiar with the tapping points, tap a few rounds to release distractions, and help yourself feel grounded and centered before you work.  Here’s a diagram of the tapping points. To learn more about EFT Tapping, contact me.

Use Creative Visualization – Just the act of using your mind to visualize something will help bring you into focus.  If, for example, you’d like to focus on a project or task, first visualize it.  Visualize how you would like the experience to unfold.  See yourself as focused, and enjoying your work.  Do this visualization for 2-5 minutes.  Then, start your work.

Use Your Breath – Most times when we’re distracted, we’re actually dissociated, or in a mindless state. This is a perfect time to use deep breathing to help you come back into your body.  As you’re breathing, close your eyes, and watch your breath. Consciously send your breath to all parts of your body.  Allow your breath to bring you back to the present moment, where focus resides.

Let me know how these techniques work for you.  I’d love to know!

In Courage,

Marian

 

 

 

I’m an Empath, Are You?

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I’m an empath.  Many of my friends are empaths, as are most of my clients.  Due to the line of work I’m in, I meet empaths everywhere.  At the wellness center where I have an office.  At the professional trainings I attend.  At group meditations and networking events.

It’s not easy to be an empath.  Until I truly understood my energy, I struggled.  I struggled with the belief I had to please everyone.  I struggled with sensing too much about the world around me.  I struggled with feeling the weight of the world.  I struggled in large groups, and sought isolation. 

I’ve gradually, and successfully, learned to manage and protect my natural sensitivity, and I’ve realized how crucial it is to practice daily rituals and exercises in order to help myself stay balanced and strong.

You might too be an empath, if you:  

  • Sense and ‘absorb’ others’ feelings
  • Have high sensitivity to touch, smell, energy, sight, noise, etc.
  • Are easily triggered or overwhelmed by negative news stories
  • Have been told you’re too sensitive
  • Feel like something is wrong with you
  • Have a tendency to shut down when too much is going on around you
  • Frequently feel exhausted
  • Easily get distracted

But wait, it’s not all bad news!  Empaths are beautiful people, and when we recognize our true strengths, it’s easier to strengthen inner power. 

Empaths typically:

  • Are generous and giving.
  • Have big hearts
  • Are highly intuitive
  • Enjoy subtle beauty
  • Thrive in natural settings
  • Treasure authenticity
  • Are great listeners
  • Have a natural ability to heal
  • Experience relief when they connect with others who share their sense of sensitivity

Sensitivity is a gift.  We add value and strength to our sensitivity by honoring it and nurturing it.  In doing this, it’s crucial to detoxify and release all that doesn’t serve us.  This includes: anxiety, self-doubt, negative self judgement, other peoples’ emotions and opinions, and any substances toxic to our system.

Over the years I have learned to manage my energy in a way that allows me to thrive, instead of hide. 

Here are some of my favorite techniques:

Daily Meditation — Daily meditation helps me connect with my inner power.  By continually connecting with our inner power, authenticity is easier to express.  Meditation helps to clarify what is ours, and what is not.   

Smudging – Using a sage smudge is helpful to clear negative energy in a room.  I do this frequently in my home office.  In addition, I have smokeless smudge from Rhonda Lee Barefoot Artist, which I use at my office in the center where I work.  Here’s the link for Rhonda’s Spirit Mist.

Energetic Shield – Empaths typically have an easy time visualizing what’s invisible to the naked eye.  Visualizing an energetic shield of light or love to surround you as you move through your day can help you maintain a boundary to filter out negativity. 

Grounding – Grounding is crucial for everyone, especially empaths.  Sometimes, the struggles faced by an empath will create a desire for avoidance, or dissociation from earthly troubles.  However helpful it might be to drift into ‘la-la-land’ at times, it’s crucial to bring ourselves back to Earth.  Grounding techniques include walking barefoot on the earth, EFT Tapping, and soaking your feet in a salt bath.  You might also try a daily grounding meditation, during which you imagine roots stretching down from your spine and feet into the earth below.

Salt Bath — Ahhh. Nothing like a salt bath to soothe anxiety and detoxify the body-mind.   Simple Epsom salts contain magnesium, which is both grounding and relaxing.  If you have a bathtub, treat yourself to a salt bath one or more times a week.  If you don’t have a bathtub, soak your feet instead. 

Yoga – Yoga is a powerful technique for detoxification, anxiety relief, grounding, chakra balancing, nervous system balancing, and more.  Each of these benefits is crucial for the sensitive, empathic soul. 

Nature– Nature is grounding, healing, and soothing.  It’s essential for maintaining balance.  Delight in it in any way you can.

Don’t hide from the world.  Don’t hide your sensitivity.  Treasure your gifts, and light up our world.

Contact me to learn how EFT Tapping and Matrix Reimprinting can help soothe your soul and nourish your inner butterfly.

In Courage,

Marian

11 Ways to Change Negative Beliefs

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Our beliefs are usually so strong we don’t even question them.  There are some that we might even keep for a lifetime.  It’s often not until something drastic happens that we choose to change them.

Most persistent beliefs are formed when we are young.  We form them as a result of being immersed in the life we’re born into.  We receive input from our experiences, and from trusted sources such as parents, caregivers, friends, teachers, culture, religious institutions, and community.  Our subconscious mind takes this ongoing input to form the bulk of our beliefs. The younger we are, the stronger the belief. 

Back when I first began my training in EFT Tapping, I took a serious look at my beliefs. I was amazed at how many of them were actually holding me back. I had limiting beliefs about love, about success, about health, and about money, of course. One of the most incessant beliefs though, was the belief that I was somehow obligated to please people.

As you might imagine, the persistent belief that I had to please people thrust me into a spin of self-doubt and second-guessing whenever I tried to create something.  Just the thought of having to please people slowed me down tremendously.  Everything felt so difficult – writing newsletters, creating workshops, promoting my business, sometimes even relating to family and friends. 

So, I got to work.  And, using all the tools in my toolbox, I began unraveling my old limiting beliefs.

Now, I wouldn’t say that I’ve completely let go of all my limiting beliefs.  Nor have I let go of my desire to please people. But I have altered my original belief — enormously.  I love offering companionship, services, and products that help people feel good about themselves.

But what I no longer believe, is that I am obligated to please everyone, or even anyone.

I love bringing joy and pleasure to the people in my life.  No obligation, no second guessing, no doubt, just the pure intention to bring more good into the world. Once I changed my belief from one of obligation to one of free choice, I felt more inspired, and capable, to bring the love.

As I mentioned, once I started looking, I found a number of beliefs that no longer serve me. I didn’t release them all at once. It takes time, focus, and commitment to change beliefs. I am, as we all are, a work in progress. But, what I’ve found, is that the more I unravel my limiting beliefs, the easier and faster it happens. 

Remember, a belief is simply a thought, thought over, and over again.

Here are some techniques that can really help you change your negative beliefs: 

Affirmations – Decide what you want to believe and create affirmations that state these beliefs. For example, if you’d like to believe you can be healthy, wealthy, and wise, create affirmations such as:  I love my healthy body, or I love being financially successful.  Repeat your affirmations for 2-5 minutes each, on a daily basis.  Repetition is the key to help you create your new belief.

Look for Evidence – Find examples of people who have overcome obstacles similar to your own.  Make a file of positive role models you can refer to in times of need. This will help you become aware of the possibility of a new, positive belief about your situation.

Positive quotes – Find uplifting quotes from inspiring people.  Search on the internet for quotes about specific topics such as love, peace, abundance, success, happiness, health, etc.  Choose your favorites, and post them around your office or home.  By continually seeing and reading the positive messages, you will input them into your subconscious, and gradually,  you will begin to believe them.

Inspiring podcasts and audios – There are plenty of inspiring podcasts around. Take a look at what’s available on Itunes and Stitcher.  Look for podcasts which inspire you, and listen to interviews and information which will help you see things in a new, positive way.   Hayhouse Radio is a great resource for shows which are specifically created to help listeners change limiting beliefs.

Rewrite negative thoughts and beliefs – Write down a few of your most persistent negative thoughts or beliefs.  Next, rewrite each to state the opposite.  When you notice that you’re thinking a negative thought, or contemplating a negative belief,  insert the opposite rewrite into your mind.  Repeat the positive rewrite a number of times, to help yourself move away from the negative.  Remember, repetition strengthens beliefs.  Keep repeating new positive phrases, and you will begin to believe them. 

Write a new story – Write a new story for yourself.  Write it in the present tense.  Describe a scene where you have the personal qualities and experiences you desire.  Include desired sensory information, such as scents, colors, feelings, and emotions.  Read this story to yourself each day. Stand up as you read it. Change it as desired. Meditate on it.  Bring the scene to life in your mind-body, and you will begin to see it happen. 

Challenge Assumptions – Don’t assume that just because you believe something is true, that it has to be true for you. Remember — a belief is a thought, which is thought over and over.  Our beliefs bring us the evidence of what we believe.  Challenge your beliefs by asking: Is this true?  Is this true for me?  Does this belief help me in my life?  Do I want to keep this belief?  If you answer no to any of these questions, it’s time to alter your belief in the way that feels best for you.

Be Open to the Possibility of New Belief – Think about all the times you’ve changed your beliefs, or had a belief-altering experience.  Allow yourself to open to the possibility that even your strongest beliefs can change.  By opening to possibility, you will invite the flow of new information, allowing you to begin to create a new belief.

Meditation – My favorite go-to.  Meditation, when done on a consistent basis, allows you to drop beneath the logical ego-mind, into the wisdom of your heart and higher self.  It is in this place that you can come to clarity about your beliefs.  Sometimes just this deepened awareness is enough to make an enormous shift.   

EFT Tapping —  EFT Tapping helps to loosen the grip of a belief that no longer serves you.  If you are familiar with EFT Tapping, try tapping on the points while thinking and/or talking about a limiting belief. This will help loosen and release associated feelings, and neutralize the belief.  If you’re not familiar with EFT Tapping, or if you would like assistance in working on a persistent belief, contact me for more information.

Matrix Reimprinting —  Matrix Reimprinting uses EFT Tapping and visualization to help unravel long-standing beliefs.  Matrix is very powerful, and helps to unravel a belief at the place it was created.  This technique is best done with a professional.  Contact me if you’d like to learn more about Matrix Reimprinting.

Choose to believe. Believe in the infinite possibilities all around us. Most of all, BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!

In Courage,

Marian

Struggling with Self Doubt?  Check out my new mini-course, Overcoming Self Doubt.

Overcome Self-Doubt

13 Tips to Release Anxiety

 

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So many people I know are dealing with anxiety right now.  I’m hearing about it from my clients.  From friends and family.  And from myself as well!

Anxiety is something I know a lot about.  It used to be my constant companion. 

But gradually, with the help of numerous mind-body techniques, I was able to let go, nearly completely, of all anxiety. What a miraculous relief!

Lately, though, anxiety has been cropping up for me again.  It could be the ever-changing political climate.  Could be the numerous disruptions and changes I’ve had to navigate during the last year. Could be a lot of things.

The problem is, I DON’T have time for anxiety!  Who does? 

Anxiety gets in the way of my work, my dreams, my creativity, my natural optimism, my happiness…my life!

Fortunately, I now have a wealth of tools to clear anxiety, almost immediately. So, unlike years ago, when anxiety was my constant companion, I can now easily release, relax, and let it go.  Feels so good!

Here are some of my favorite anxiety-busters: 

Deep Breathing – Deep breathing, from the abdomen, stimulates the vagus nerve.  When you stimulate the vagus nerve, you stimulate the relaxation response.

Meditation  –  Meditation allows you to drop into deeper brain frequencies and relaxation.  It is an effective way to observe your discomfort from a place of detachment. Connecting with your higher self, while observing anxiety, helps to diminish it.  Meditate in silence, or try a guided meditation.  If you’re new to meditation, start with 5-10 minutes and gradually increase the time.  For a huge variety of free meditations, check out the app: Insight Timer.

Self-Massage – Self-massage is a quick, powerful way to release pent-up anxiety and tension.  Give yourself a quick foot massage, a neck and shoulder massage, a hip massage, a lower back massage,  an arm and hand massage.  Massage wherever you can reach, wherever you feel tense.  It’s amazing how powerful just a few moments of self-massage can be!

Tulsi Tea –  Mmmm.  Tulsi tea is one of my favorites!  In fact, as I write this, I’m sipping a cup of Organic India’s Sweet Rose Tulsi.  Tulsi tea helps calm jitters, and balance cortisol, the major stress hormone.

Eat Green—Green veggies and green juices contain alkalizing minerals which help ground and calm the nervous system.  Find your favorite, easiest way of eating greens, and eat plenty of them.  Greens are absolutely essential, especially during times of stress.

Heart Breath –  The heart breath will help you drop out of an anxious mind, into the peace of your heart. To use the Heart Breath, first take 3-4 deep breaths, bringing your breath down into your abdomen.  Next, bring your breath up into your heart, and imagine that you are breathing in and out of your heart. Deeply, and slowly.  Breathe this way for 1-5 minutes (or more!)  Notice how it makes you feel.

EFT Tapping – Ahh, EFT Tapping.  Again, one of my favorites.  (no bias here!)  EFT Tapping helps balance and reduce the stress hormone cortisol.  It’s a very effective tool for releasing anxiety and panic.  The fastest way to use it is to use the fingertips of one hand to tap on the karate chop point of your other hand.  The karate chop point is the fleshy part of your hand between your pinky and your wrist.  Breathe deeply and slowly as you tap.  For more info about all of the tapping points, click here.  If you’d like to learn how to use EFT to relieve anxiety, contact me.

Affirmations – I’ve been using affirmations for a while now, and I LOVE them!  I’ve created a number of affirmations for a variety of my goals and desires.  So, when I’m feeling anxious or worried, I switch to a positive affirmation to counter my worry. Then, I repeat the affirmation over and over. The more I practice this technique, the more immediate the results.

Yoga – Yoga is a fabulous practice to release the tension, anxiety, and fear that gets tapped within the body.  If yoga is right for you, find the yoga practice that’s right for you.  If you can’t find a class near you, try an online program.  Gaia.com has a beautiful selection of yoga teachers and classes.

Gratitude List – Sometimes when we feel anxious, it’s because we feel we’re lacking something we need.  Cultivate a daily gratitude practice which helps you acknowledge all the good in your life.  This sense of gratitude will help you shift out of anxiety.

Creative Visualization — Similar to an affirmation, a positive visualization will help you feel more optimistic.  If you’re new to visualization, start with simple visions, within the realm of possibility.

First, decide what you’d like to see. What would improve your situation? Next, close your eyes, breathe deeply, and bring your vision to mind.  Allow the vision to appear in whatever way is best for you.  Don’t force it.  By allowing yourself to step into a new, better-feeling, possibility,  you’ll help yourself feel better, and you’ll show your subconscious mind what to create for you.

Brain Wave Entrainment:  Brainwave entrainment uses pulsing sounds, lights, or electromagnetic fields to stimulate the brain to fall into deeper, more peaceful, brainwave frequencies.  This is a very effective technique, and numerous products are available online, and as MP3 downloads.  Because these products are powerful, it’s important to purchase them from a trusted source, and to do your own research on the effects of brain wave entrainment.

Some of my favorite sources include: 

The Monoe Institute at:  https://www.monroeinstitute.org,

Jeffrey Gignac at:  https://jeffreygignac.com/,  

and Binaural Beats Meditation at: https://www.binauralbeatsmeditation.com.

Let go of Caffeine – Last, and certainly not least, let go of Caffeine!  Limit or omit it.  Caffeine stimulates the adrenal glands, and therefore your stress hormones.  If you need an energy boost, try a green drink, or a glass of water with lemon.

Life’s too precious to waste it on anxiety!

In Courage,

Marian

 

To Apply for a FREE 30-Minute Unleash Your Courage Call, click here.

22 Tips to Boost Your Courage

 

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Got Courage?  For me, courage is essential for everything from growing my business to living my life in a more authentic, joyful, loving, way. 

A few months ago I taught a workshop called the Courage Experiment.  My goal was to experiment with different courage boosting techniques, and share them with others.   Here are 22 techniques I’ve found to be most helpful.  Experiment, and discover what works for you. Enjoy!

Seek Courageous Role Models – Look around at the people in your life, in the media, in books, and in history.  Who are your courageous role models? Learn about the ways in which they use their courage.  Adopt strategies that appeal to you.

Collect Courage Quotes — Use the internet to find quotes about courage.  Collect quotes that really speak to you. Print some out, and post them where you’ll see them.

Embrace Your Fear – Feel your fear. Practice sending compassion and understanding to yourself in your moments of fear.  Sometimes just pausing with this intention is enough to release fear.

Admit to your Fears with a Friend – Sometimes it takes a lot of courage to admit we’re afraid.  Fear loves to hide in secrecy.  Sharing your fears with an understanding friend or counselor will usually help dispel some of the fear.

Don’t Engage the Drama–  By-pass worst-case scenarios.  We never know what’s going to happen, so why imagine the scariest possibilities? Fear feeds on drama, and will multiply the more we engage.  Practice stepping away from the drama, and imagining better-feeling scenarios.

Avoid unnecessary hesitation – The more you hesitate, the more your mind will interfere to tell you all the reasons why you should fret, worry, and not take that courageous action step you planned to take.

Commit Yourself in Advance – Schedule your courageous acts ahead of time.   Then, show up.

Do it with a friend – Practice with a friend.  Celebrate together as you take courageous action steps.

Start Small – It can be hard to find courage to do something that feels big and scary.  Instead, take a good look at the big and scary goal, and then break it down into smaller, friendlier steps.

Enter a state of non-resistance.  – Courage can be tough to muster when we’re dreading doing something.  Practice letting go of resistance, and being present with whatever happens along your way.

Tap into your BIG WHY – Why do you want to use your courage?  Get clear about your true, authentic intentions.  When we feel really inspired and motivated, sometimes we’ll do just about anything to get what we want.

Visualize Best Outcomes – Visualization is a very powerful technique to help us imagine our best outcomes.  By visualizing what you want, you will activate your reticular activator to help you begin to see evidence of what you’re visualizing.  By allowing yourself to feel the energy of your imagined scene, you can boost both your enthusiasm and your courage.

Do Things that Others Don’t.  – Practice following the beat of your own drum.  The more comfortable you are doing your own thing, the more courage you will have to do anything.

Turn Obstacles and Failures into Assets – It’s easy to use obstacles and failures as excuses to forgo our courage.   By turning obstacles and failures into opportunities to learn and grow, we can bypass fear, and move forward with courage.   This fortifies our courage to continue, despite obstacles or failures along our way.

Expand Your Knowledge – Many times we’re scared of what we don’t know or understand.  By increasing your knowledge about a particular area, you will increase your confidence and courage to explore areas you might previously have avoided.

Incremental Exposure – Little by little, expose yourself to the thing that you fear.

Imagine How You’ll Feel after You Do It.  Imagining how good you’ll feel once you take action will boost your enthusiasm and your courage.

Exercise – Any form of exercise will help release pent-up stress and anxiety.  In addition, you will strengthen your sense of confidence as you follow through with regular exercise. Confidence nourishes courage.

Meditation – Meditation will help you feel centered, grounded, and relaxed.  When you come from a place of centered calm, courage is much easier to access.

Affirmations – Affirmations, when frequently repeated, will assist your subconscious mind in helping you feel more courageous.  Create a few short, easy-to-say, affirmations.  For example:  “I love feeling courageous.”  Or “My courage brings success.” Repeat throughout your day, and/or for 2-5 minutes at a time.  Remember — repetition increases the power of an affirmation.

Heart Breath – The heart breath will help you drop out of a worried, stressed mind, into the peace and wisdom of your heart.  To do the heart breath, close your eyes and take a few long deep breaths.  Next, continue to breathe deeply while imagining you are breathing in and out of your heart.  Continue to breathe this way for 1-5 minutes.

EFT Tapping – EFT Tapping, tapping on specific acupressure points on the face, torso, and hand, helps to reduce cortisol, the major stress hormone.  Calming your nervous system is an important first step in cultivating courage.   Contact me at marian@marianbuckmurray.com if you’d like to learn more about EFT Tapping.

Our Beautiful World Needs YOUR Courage!

In Courage,

Marian