Why is it that we have such a hard time letting go of things? Whether it’s an old friendship, a relationship that no longer works, a pair of old jeans that you haven’t worn since high school, a business that is failing, etc. We have a hard time letting go because we have attached a part of our identity to that which we are letting go of.
Our identity is made up of our personality, our life experiences, the people we interact with, etc. Some parts of our identity we are aware of and others, we are not. If you’ve attached a part of you to something, it’s hard to let yourself go.
So, what can you do. Examine why you are having trouble letting go. Take a pair of old shoes for instance with holes in them that you don’t wear anymore. Ask yourself what part of you is in your shoes. Is it the pair of shoes that you wore to win a big game? Did you spend an entire summer playing in them and having fun? Perhaps you have attached winning, play and fun to your shoes….no wonder why you don’t want to get rid of them!
Once you are aware of your attachments, you can remember the good times or the emotions and then let the physical item go.
Practice going around your house and looking at items that you never use anymore. This works especially well for clothes. See why you still have them, remember the good memories and then get rid of your new item. Observe how you feel. You will notice that as you remove old things from your life, you will feel lighter and more free.
Let me know how this activity goes! 613-761-1600
The November workshop was titled Overcoming Fear. Normally, when I do my monthly workshops, I usually think of them ahead of time. I create powerpoint presentations and review the content that I am presenting the day of the workshop. I like to be prepared.
One of my fears when public speaking is wondering what would happen if I had nothing to say. To circumvent this fear, I prepare ahead of time, so there’s always something to say. Now, I have been in practice for over 10 years so I no longer have to read my slides, however, I still like them there...in case.
I decided to take my workshop as an opportunity to practice overcoming a fear….so, deep breath….I decided not prepare for the workshop. I was going to wing it and see how it went.
By Monday, the day of the workshop, I was second guessing my decision...what will I say, what will they say? But, since I had a busy day, I couldn’t create a presentation even if I wanted to.
Fast forward to 6pm. 15 minutes before the presentation. The front desk staff are preparing for the workshop and they start to set up the computer and chairs. I let them know that there will be no presentation today and to put the chairs in a circle instead of their usual configuration. They smile and say, that’s different. I respond, yes, it is. I did not create a presentation today.
Fast forward to 6:15pm when workshop participants begin to arrive. This is new, Dr. Amanda. I smile and respond, yes it is. From there, we proceed to talk and discuss about our fears and how to overcome them and everything turns out great, as it always does.
I challenged my fear and won. What did you do this week to challenge a fear of yours?
I was about a week away from Clear Day (a bi-annual, small group retreat experience that I run) and there was only 1 person registered. This was very unusual. Faced with the possibility of cancelling my first Clear Day ever, I checked in with myself and sent out a prayer to the universe.
I asked myself, is this something you created i.e. is it in your heart to want to do clear day? What came back was, until I asked, I had been on the fence. It takes a lot of time, commitment, planning, time away from family...however, it’s the best time to go in depth with my patients and for us all to experience community and support. As I was contemplating this, a voice from deep within said, do clear day and here is your theme: Blessings!
I answered back to the voice: I’m not doing clear day for 1 person. The voice said, send out your prayer to the universe. So, I turned to the universe and said: I need at least 4 people to go ahead with what I have planned for clear day.
When I went to work the next day, I mentioned to one of my staff, that I only had 1 person registered and how odd it was. She responded, no, you should have more as I took payment from others. I asked where the information was kept. It turns out she had put it in another file. I was up to 3 people. The magic continued to work and by the end of the day, my entire clear day was FULL!!!!! Not only had a surpassed by goal of 4 people, I had gone far beyond and sold out my clear day!
Wow, what an amazing and responding response form the universe. Thank you, thank you, thank you. And from that experience, I also figured out a workshop for my clear day.
Ask and you shall receive.
In October, my son had his first birthday. For him, I created a letter time capsule. I got our family and friends to each write him a letter of advice for him to open up when he turns 18.
Here is part of the advice I gave. Please feel free to add more if you think of it.
Happy 18th Birthday! Mommy loves you so much!
My father in law is a professor at the University of Ottawa and is nearing the end of his teaching career...my suggestion was that he teach until my baby reaches university but he did not think this was practical...haha.
His birthday happened to fall on a day where he had a night class so we decided to surprise him by bringing our son to watch him teach. Since it was a night class, we had both worked all day and it was a rush home to get there in time. My husband even wondered if perhaps we should go on another day as we were busy, we’d keep the baby up past his bedtime, we didn’t have parking downtown, we hadn’t eaten yet and we were already running late by the time I got home.
But, I was determined that we go so off we went. Baby L was crying in the car the entire way, we encountered traffic and sure enough, it took us 20 mins to find parking and then we had to walk to the class. Needless to say, there were several times where I wondered if this was a good decision….but we persisted on.
We showed up to class (late) and surprised him and boy was he surprised! It was a short visit as we had interrupted his class and then we were off to go back home.
The next day, we got a phone call from Dad and he was so happy that we made the visit. He said it was a moment he would remember for the rest of his life. What an honour it was to be able to do something so meaningful for someone. For us, we showed up to say happy birthday, for him, it meant much more.
You never know the impact you will have with one random or not so random act of kindness. So be kind, do nice things for others and you never know how it can affect someone.
When was your last random act of kindness? Comment below.
We all want to feel that we are important, appreciated and that we matter in some way to this world. While we may want to feel appreciated, what allows us to actually feel it?
Because we all have different life experiences, hurts, cultures and circumstances, our nervous systems are uniquely wired to fit us. What may cause one of us pain may cause another one of us joy.
If we want to feel appreciated, how important would it be to know how we feel appreciation? Or receive appreciation? Super important! Because others might be trying to let us know that they appreciate us but we aren’t receiving the message.
My husband and I have different communication styles for love and appreciation. For him, his nervous system prefers that you tell him in words. I appreciate you, I love you, you matter to me and you are important.
For myself, my nervous system is more attuned to behaviours and actions. I.e. my husband brings dinner home after a long day or work so we don’t have to cook, he let me sleep in by looking after the baby, etc.
Knowing how each of our nervous systems is programmed is helpful because while I may do lots of actions to show my husband that I care, he may not interpret it that way without my also telling him.
Check in with yourself. What do you need to feel loved? Actions, thoughts, behaviours, words? Observe how you communicate to others in different relationships.
Write below what you observed!
Most often, we wait for special occasions to give thanks. Perhaps it’s around a holiday such as Thanksgiving or Christmas, however, giving thanks is something to be practiced all year round.
The more you notice that you are grateful for, the more things you will have to be grateful for.
Why should we be grateful? Research studies have shown that gratitude improves your health. People had less depression, lower blood pressure, more energy and greater optimism when they were grateful. Another research team found that positive emotions such as appreciation significantly lowered levels of cortisol...a hormone often related to stress.
For about a year, it was a practice of mine to write down 3 things every morning that I am grateful for. I think it’s time for me to go back to this.
Here are some other ideas on ways to give thanks
Write below what you are grateful for in your life!
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Last week I was having a hard time with my son. He was cranky, whining and throwing temper tantrums. It was 8am and he had already had 3...one because Mommy wouldn’t follow the garbage truck around the neighbourhood with him.
When we were in the car, he was screaming and crying. I was at my limits and was about to yell back when I saw a car in front of us with 2 dogs with their heads hanging out the window. This reminded me of a video I once heard from Abraham-Hicks.
Q: Why do dogs risk getting bugs in their eyes, sticking their heads out of car windows?
A: Because the contrast of the bugs in the eye is a small price to pay for the exhilaration of that ride….exactly the way you felt when you knew there would be contrast and you said the ride is going to be worth it.
Here is the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LI6qtppejWY
In that moment, my anger and frustration turned into laughter. The bugs in my eyes: the temper tantrums, sleepless nights, early mornings, etc are nothing compared to the joy of watching this kid grow, learn, the snuggles and love.
I am grateful for the reminder that I needed in that moment. Also, to remind myself to look beyond the bugs and at the fun ride.
Have you been too focused on the bugs? GIve us a call 613-761-1600
There’s a popular belief that you should “fake it until you make it”. This is often seen in the personal growth world. If you don’t feel happy, you are asked to put a smile on your face until you feel happy. If you are in financial trouble, and want to be rich, you are to pretend like you are rich and follow rich/successful people until you become what you want. However, this is not the most authentic route.
Because you are not being true to your authentic self. Let say you wanted to be successful and you started reading books on success, following successful habits, doing the same things that your mentors do…. who are you being when you are doing this? Everyone else but you.
You are being someone other than who you are. Don’t get me wrong, there are lessons that you can learn from reading about others and skills that might work for you. But not everything that someone does, will be right for you and your current situation. Success comes in many paths, you need to find one that is congruent with you.
Instead, why not try being authentically you and speak about your journey until you make it? Want to run a successful business and you just started? Speak about your passion for what you do. Speak about your skills, your personal story and how excited you are to bring your product/service to the world. Talk about the difficulties, the ups and downs. When you are vulnerable and show people who you are, they will show up for you.
Show how you get through struggles, how you push past your fears and how you stand up for yourself and others. That’s what people will gravitate to. It requires more courage and vulnerability and it’s not fake.
Speak about your journey, not just the good parts but the parts that make you grow and you will achieve way more than you believe.
Want support along your journey? 613-761-1600
*Note: Names have been changed to respect the privacy and wishes of the family
Going about our day to day lives, it’s sometimes easy to get so caught up in the routine, tasks, etc that we forget about what matters the most to us….and so, life steps in to give us a swift reminder.
I was playing on the floor with my son when I heard the phone ring. I let it go to voicemail as I am generally not on my phone or computer when we are spending quality time together. After I got the voicemail notification, I got a text message which was strange. Because I got so many notifications, I went to check my phone. The text message say to call asap as something had happened….not a text that anyone wants to receive.
I called my friend and I heard the news. A mutual friend of ours had taken his life. I was in shock. As I sat there, I started to remember the fun moments we had together in our lives. I also felt bad because I hadn’t spoken to this person since the baby was born. I have had intentions of stopping by to see him so Lincoln could meet him however, I never acted on my thoughts.
Death really brings into perspective what’s important in life. I had been worried about the little things; when naps were, what to cook and eat, how to schedule things and had lost sight of what matters most, connection to others.
This reminded me that life is finite and what is here one day (health, success, career, etc) can be gone the next. So, go out and enjoy the outdoors and clean a little less, play with your kids as they grow up so quickly. Call your parents because they care about you so much. Tell people you care about them as you might not get the chance again.
To my friend, thank you for all that you have taught me and all the great times we had together. May you find the peace that you have been searching for.
Dr. Amanda is a non-traditional chiropractor who focuses on Neuro-Optimization in Ottawa, Canada.