Posted by Ellen Sichel on July 5, 2012
Yesterday, as we celebrated the 4th of July we were honoring our independence.
I have been thinking about that idea and wonder what it really means to be independent. I work with those whom have some kind of illness or handicap and while they are dependent on others, they are still independent. They have cultivated an inner freedom that goes way beyond their physical state. They know that they are much more than their situation and are not victims of their circumstance. They live their lives making the choice to be positive and proactive. It is their attitude that makes all the difference.
From time to time it is helpful to explore how independent we really are. Are we truly living our lives with inner calm and ease?
Think about where in your life you have not yet attained independence. Let me know in the comments below.
Posted by Ellen Sichel on May 16, 2012
For my book I decided to write an article on procrastination. I am finding this topic challenging so I have not yet started. This is why an article is needed! What makes us procrastinate?
I think much of what gets in our way is fear. We fear that we will never finish, we fear reality or we fear we never measure up. We ask ourselves–why begin? We tell ourselves it is better not to try then to fail—emotionally that feels safer.
When I decided to write my book, I really struggled with the fact that I never considered myself a writer, but when I began and stayed true to myself and my voice the words flowed out.
Procrastination costs us dearly. We either put off important due dates (taxes is a popular one!) or postpone something we really want to do, leaving us frustrated, resentful and stressed out.
There are a few things that I found helpful and it will work for anything you want to accomplish.
- Guidance: Find someone who can help you. You cannot do everything on our own.
- Structure: Due dates and a step by step process (there can be some flexibility here) are vital.
- Positive people: Surround yourself with those who are supportive.
- Accountability: It can be the person giving you guidance or someone else who is structured.
- Keep it simple: Easy step by step bite size pieces will work most effectively.
- Stay in the moment: When your mind drifts into fear, take a breath and bring yourself back.
- Praise: Each step of the way, give yourself praise for beginning.
Life is meant to be enjoyed and when take the baby steps needed to thwart your procrastination, great freedom takes its place.
Let me know in the comments below why you think you procrastinate and if you have had success in moving forward. Give this list a try and let me know how it went.
Posted by Ellen Sichel on April 4, 2012
Spring has definitely sprung and this weekend we celebrate the holidays of Passover and Easter.
The holiday of Passover focuses on release from the bondage of slavery into freedom. Easter is a time of rebirth and renewal.
We commonly think of bondage as being under the control or influence of something powerful. The celebration of Passover marks the freedom of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage.
Today we are in another kind of bondage: It is self imposed and it stems from our mind. We are slaves to our own minds. We get stuck in our way of thinking and perceiving life and see no way out. There is no rebirth for us to move in new directions.
We need to be willing to let go of the old thoughts and belief systems so you have room to receive the new. When we do our mind can be clear and calm. This year while celebrating the holidays, think about where in your life you are stuck-that is the first step to freedom.
Let me know in the comments below if you are hanging on to old beliefs.
Posted by Ellen Sichel on November 10, 2011
We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations- Charles Swindoll
When I look back at what I considered to be my most difficult times, I realize that those experiences propelled me to change and grow.
It seems to take impossible situations to make us take a look at our lives and reevaluate our priorities.
It is much easier to see things in hindsight then while we are in the middle of the experience. It could take years to see how we or others have developed from past experiences.
Look at those in your life who have had a positive impact on you and you will find that they have become the person they are from all of their life experiences, including painful situations.
There is great freedom when we can clearly see the shift that occurred and to focus on the synchronicity in life.
Let me know in the comments below if you can see how a difficult situation has shaped who you are today. See if you can look for the synchronicity of past experiences and let me know how they affected you.
Posted by Ellen Sichel on July 1, 2011
Independence Day is a celebration of our nation’s freedom.
It is also an opportunity to celebrate your personal freedom and think about where in your life your are independent and where you are dependent.
Freedom is the ability to choose, and there are areas in our lives where we are not free.
We will always have needs, and that is natural. We lose our freedom when our needs stem from “reaction” or “craving”. When this occurs, our mind has bound us.
The practices of Mindfulness will set you free. When you are in the moment, you are grounded in yourself and your actions are from a place of choice.
This way of life gives us Independence from our own self imposed bondage- The ultimate freedom.
Where in your life are you independent? Where are you stuck? Let me know in the comments below.