Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

Month: December 2016

How to Soften Your Fear, Calm Your Heart, and Find Ease Again

How to soften fear through body awareness.

Recently, I’ve found myself asking, “What is the opposite of fear?”

Some people might say courage, but I think this could be a mistake when it comes to deeply embedded fear.  You can easily reinforce fearfulness or trauma by pushing yourself to be “courageous,” or trying to go too fast.

If you would like to listen to me read this post, click below or download the audio.

I find relaxation through body awareness a better starting point to counteract the kind of fear that’s been frozen in time, implanted in the body, and hidden in deeper recesses of the mind.  Fear is about contraction, isn’t it?  Whereas relaxation through body awareness allows for expansion.

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The Best Always Well Within Posts 2016 & What’s Ahead

Banana Plant | Big Island, Hawaii

What a year!  On a purely physical level, I felt challenged.  At the same time, it’s been a year of deep healing in the realms of emotion, mind, and spirit. I enjoyed periods of sweet bliss too.

And, like you may have experienced as well, I grappled with the undercurrent of tension and periodic shock waves that come with living in rocky and uncertain times.

Here are some personal highlights from my year:

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Self-Compassion: The Best Way to Calm Your Inner Critic

Self-Compassion + the Inner Critic

I’m delighted to share a guest post today from Maureen Cooper from The Path to Self-Compassion online course.

Our inner critic can be very effective in making us feel inadequate and worthless. Learning to tame it through self-compassion is the very best thing we can do for ourselves. Here is my own story of how I  experienced this for myself, and used self-compassion to calm my own inner critic.

Some years ago, when I was in my early thirties, I found myself drawn to the baby department of a large London store. For quite some time, I wandered around gazing longingly at the tiny garments and prettily decorated furniture. Gradually I became aware that I was avoiding the other shoppers and trying to hide myself from view. I kept looking around nervously. Slowly it dawned on me that I was afraid of being thrown out, exposed as a fraud, called out for not being a mother—disputed as even being a ‘real’ woman.

This memory still has the power to move me, and causes me to shudder even now. I had been told a few weeks earlier that it was very unlikely that I would be able to have children of my own. An infection in my fallopian tubes had caused them to close and buckle and the likelihood of them ever being healthy again was remote.

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Set Your Goals & Create Your Shining Year 2017

Create Your Shining Life 2017 Planners

It’s getting close to the time of the year when goal setting, planners, and diaries come to the forefront of our minds, isn’t it?

When it comes to goal setting, as you’ll see from the numbers below, it’s easy to let the process slide or write down your goals and never look at them again.  I tend to be a little lose when it comes to the things of this world myself.  I know I need to gather my yearly goals in one place, where I can easily revisit them to remember, re-inspire myself, and review my progress.

I especially enjoy using the Create Your Shining Year Workbooks {partner link} for this purpose. The workbooks are artsy, colorful, and fun.  But, equally important, they ask all the right questions so you can take your business or your life or both to the next level.

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How to Capture Your Most Important 2016 Life Lessons {+ Free Workbook}

Your Personal Year-End Review w/ FREE Workbook

I created the following 18 questions to help you capture your life lessons from 2016 and confidently move into the new year.  This simple practice of year-end reflection and integration is a powerful way to become more aligned with your true self each and every year.

You can use these questions as writing or journaling prompts and dig deeply. Or you can work with them lightly to paint an impressionistic picture of your year.  There isn’t one right way.  One word answers are fine if that’s what suits you, or you can pour your heart out if that will help you make the most of the year.

There’s no need to respond to every question unless you wish to do so. In fact, some of the questions look at similar themes from a slightly different angle.  You can select just the ones that call to you.

These questions will help you spot the sticky parts of your life, but they can also help you highlight the positive.  Resist the temptation to focus solely on the negative or the difficult.  Be sure to balance it with the good bits, and always be kind and gentle with yourself.

When you feel ready, get cozy.  Find a quiet corner or inspiring natural environment and reflect on these questions for awhile.  Download the FREE Your Year In Review 2016 Workbook to record your answers.  Set the  questions aside if you begin to feel tired or like it’s too much.  Let them percolate for awhile.  Then come back to them again when you feel ready to explore more.

Ready to begin?

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Did You Know: Smiling Can Reduce Stress?

Did you know? Smiling reduces stress. Here's why + monthly stress challenge.

Studies have shown that smiling releases endorphins, natural pain killers that also counteract stress, and serotonin, a substance that makes you feel good.  Smiling may also increase immune function, extend your longevity, reduce your blood pressure, and increase focus and productivity.

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