Life Direction

You Are Right

If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.

Henry Ford

Sounds Simple

This sounds simple. If you believe something, you can make it happen. How does this work?

It’s the power of belief. The power of our thoughts. We are powerful. We can make things happen in our lives and conversely we can sabotage our lives.

What are the steps to making things happen?

  • Relax
  • Visualize Your Intention
  • Stay Positive
  • Plan
  • Find the Joy


Pick your favorite spot. It’s a place that you feel most like you. Maybe it’s a room in your home or a spot in a park. It doesn’t matter where, only that it’s someplace you can be comfortable.

Close your eyes. Take a deep breath in through your nose and let the breath out through your mouth. Feel your muscles relax. Feel your mind relax. Keep breathing gently.

Visualize Your Intention

We often think of what we DON’T want and get into a pattern of negative thinking. So, think about one thing you would like to become or bring into your life. Maybe a new career or a new place to live.

I’ll use an example from my life when I wanted to learn to be a yoga teacher. What does that visualization look like?

“I am teaching in front of a group of people. I am smiling. The participants are smiling. I am leading the group in a yoga practice. I feel at ease. I smell the essential oils of orange and peppermint being diffused in the room. I hear a participant ask a question about where their hand should be placed. I answer confidently demonstrating the hand placement.”

Notice how the visualization has details. My visualization focuses on many things: smells, emotions, the actions of participants, and my own actions. I am very focused with the intention of what it looks like once I’ve achieved the goal.

Stay Positive

Easier said than done, right? Our brain (or well-meaning friends) say, “But I need to be realistic!” No, you don’t when you are visualizing something. You are bringing an image of joy and passion into your life, and there is no space there for all of the reasons why you should not do that thing! Realism is meant for the planning phase, so, keep adding to your visualization every single day. Dream and enjoy it.

Some people like to write this vision out on paper or type it up. This isn’t a plan, it’s a vision. It could be made pretty with photos and other embellishments. These are called vision boards. Creating something physical becomes a reminder to keep that vision of your intention alive for you.


Realism is used in the planning step but it is done while keeping what you visualized in your mind. Brainstorm first. Who can help you? What education might you need? How much money does that take? How much time will it take? Look at your calendar. All of the practical details that you can think of will be listed.

The trick is, keep redirecting your mind when you get discouraged by the answers to these questions. You might think, “That will cost too much.” When something like that comes into your mind, recognize it as a concern. Acknowledge the thought and then flip it around to a positive. For example, “That training will cost too much.” Look up the actual cost of the training program. Does that thought still hold true? If yes, think about alternatives. Would a different training program cost less? Can you call the program director and ask for a payment plan to make it more affordable over time? Research things, don’t assume.

Good planning will look at concerns and find alternatives to minimize or eliminate those concerns. It will make you feel more at ease in your vision and excited about what is happening in your life.

Find the Joy

Now you are ready for the journey towards what you want to bring into your life. Keep your sense of joy about this path you have created. Enjoy each step you take. Celebrate your successes along the way.

Some steps in your journey you will have planned and others may be unexpected. This is normal, this is life! Use the same steps above again when unexpected things pop up. Use them as an opportunity to adjust your vision.

Remember, if you believe something, you can make it happen.

You are powerful.

You are right!

Life Direction, Mind Body Connection

Mind Body Connection

Except our own thoughts, there is nothing absolutely in our power.”

~Rene Descartes (French philosopher, scientist, and mathematician)

Part II

Does my body hear everything my mind says? If so, how do these thoughts affect my body? Well, let’s break this down a little. If our mind is wandering around thought to thought (see Part I post), with very little control on our part, what kind of negative self-talk might there be?


“I’m tired. I wish I exercised more. I will exercise every morning.” If you don’t get up then you might think, “I’m tired. I can’t exercise. I’m a failure.”

See how these thought patterns can lead to the negative self-talk “I’m a failure?” What affects do these thoughts have on our physical body?

It doesn’t matter if these thoughts come from our own mind or it is said by someone else, the result is that the mind hears it. When we “hear” negative information about ourselves it may trigger anger, shame, or regret. Our heart rate and respiration increase and our body goes into “fight or flight” mode of the sympathetic nervous system. Various hormone reactions occur with a result of the stress hormone cortisol being secreted throughout our bloodstream. Cortisol creates a hormone cascade within our bodies that can cause increased stress, inability to fall asleep, and imbalances in blood sugar. You feel awful from your hormone feedback loop being out of balance, so, you are tired. Cue the bad thoughts again. See how this can result in a negative feedback loop?

Practice Awareness

So what can we do about our thoughts? “I’m tired. I wish I exercised more.” Bring awareness to the thoughts and ask a question. “Well, why am I tired?” Really think of an answer without judging yourself. “I have trouble falling asleep.” Think of a small action you could take. “I could do some focused breath work or pray before bedtime.” Or maybe think a compassionate thought about your self-criticism. “I am tired because I am working extra hours right now. I am doing this to provide for my family.” Bringing awareness to your thoughts is a practice that will help you to dig beneath the negative self-talk and find out more about yourself.

Taking time to review your thoughts and examining them with honesty and compassion can prevent the “fight of flight” system from engaging and keep you in the “rest and digest” of the parasympathetic nervous system. This keeps the heart rate and respiration normal, which allows you to remain calm and use your mind to examine thoughts and look for solutions.

As discussed in the previous post, I have used the practice of meditation to increase my self-awareness and keep in the “rest and digest” mode as much as I can. Any mindfulness practice (meditation, prayer, yoga, Tai Chi) will bring us in touch with our mind, emotions, and body. Do I still have negative self-talk? Uh, yes, I’m human! But the practice of meditation along with acknowledging my thoughts and working through them has helped. After all, practicing a skill is how we learn best.

Questions about this practice? Use the Contact form or comment below!

Life Direction, The Journey

The Journey Begins

Welcome to *our* healing journey!

Your body hears everything your mind says. — Naomi Judd


Part I

Wow! Does my body hear everything my mind says? And if so, how can I change what my mind is saying? Meditation.

Do a web search on science-based benefits of meditation. I’ll wait. 😉 The scientific data is overwhelming in linking mediation to reducing stress and anxiety, improving sleep, controlling pain, and improving emotional health. But how is this related to what our mind is saying?

Since I began meditating, I experience more awareness of my mental chatter. If my thoughts are going in a direction that I don’t like, I’m able to stop them and begin a more positive train of thought. One study by Yale University found a physiological reason for this ( Subjects in the study that had a regular meditation practice had reduced activity in the Default Mode Network (DMN). This part of the brain is active when the mind isn’t engaged, in other words, it’s the part of the mind that wanders!

So, if meditation decreases activity in the part of the brain that wanders aimlessly thought to thought, then we can have more control over what our mind is saying. Choosing thoughts that are positive towards ourselves is a wonderful first step on this healing journey!

In Part II, I will discuss the ways in which our thoughts affect our bodies.