Category Archives: life coaching

Covers, Doubt, and a Perfectly-Timed Text

Have you ever experienced self-doubt? I think most of us have at one time or another. I know I have. Most recently, I have experienced it with greater frequency than normal.

As you may know, I’m about to publish my first book. This is something you only get to do once in a lifetime. There is only one “first” of anything. So, I’ve been working really hard to get it as close to perfect as possible – knowing, of course, that there is no “perfect.” Well, almost…

Last week I received an unexpected, yet perfectly-timed, text that simply said: “Dude. This book is awesome!”

The text was from a friend who received an advance copy of my book. Only a couple of hours into receiving it, and already she was texting to tell me that it was awesome. She went on to say that I must already know that. But did I?

Here’s what I have learned throughout this publishing process: self-doubt will always (always) show up. Why? Because it has to. It has to in order for me to question myself and question my work. I need to do that to be able to stand up, stand for it, and move forward knowing in my heart that what I’ve done – what I’ve created – is, in fact, awesome.

For a while, I was feeling shame over my self-doubt. Feeling like it was yet another obstacle I had to overcome. But it’s simply not the case. Maybe at one point in my life it was, but now I see it as an ally. I see it as an opportunity for me to go deeper into the embrace. I see it as a chance to rise higher, stand taller, and empower myself further. In other words, I see it as a gift.

So, with that said, and having self-doubted my way through countless tweaks to the cover for my new book – I can honestly say that I am THRILLED, EXCITED, and PROUD to share it with you now. Here it is:

What If - coverI can’t wait to share the whole book with you in 8 short weeks!

Are you looking forward to reading it? Learning about this powerful approach I’ve created to change your life? I truly can’t wait to share it with you – and I look forward to you sharing it with your family and friends.

To get the party started, join me and invite them to do the same. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter!

Living Optimally

So – it’s been a week, and what a week it’s been. Yours truly has been knocked down by the flu. Not sure whether it was just the common flu or the H1N1 strain – but whatever it was, it definitely got me. Which brings me to this week’s topic: Living Optimally.

A dear friend of mine recently shared her new life mantra with me, and I love it. It’s “Be happy now.” What does that mean exactly? Well, my interpretation is that it means that she is making decisions based on that idea. For example: if there is a choice to make between two things (as many of us experience this holiday season), she might look at the options through the filter of what will support her mantra of being happy now. Living in the moment. Too often we feel obligated to accept all invitations. As such, social commitments sometimes become a chore or a task, rather than a celebration. Now – this isn’t to say that you have to turn people down, but it does put a different perspective on things. If you have two holiday parties to go to on the same night, then you have the power to make the decision to choose one or the other – or both! More importantly, however, you also have the power to CHOOSE how you are going to approach the evening. Will you look at it as an overwhelming commitment? Or will you look at it as an opportunity to celebrate relationships and enjoy the moment? It’s your choice. Be happy now.

But let’s take this back to my experience with the flu. Last week I told you about Dr. Darren and Dr. Tom’s work. A major part of their work incorporates the idea of The Five Basics for Optimal Health, which are: ‘The quantity, quality, and frequency of water, food, rest, exercise and owning one’s power.” Of course, this is nothing new to most of us – except for, possibly, the “owning one’s power” part. But that relates back to what I just said about choice. As for the other four pieces – well, they’re just common sense, aren’t they? Or are they? If they were that simple – the weight loss industry and health care industry wouldn’t be worth hundreds of billions of dollars. So, where’s the disconnect?

In my opinion, it’s that last piece: owning your power. Owning your power means making a decision. Just like my friend has done in deciding to “be happy now” – it’s the decisions that drive us either toward health and wellness, or dysfunction and disease. If we want a quick-fix solution to a life-long problem, that’s a choice. And it might mean spending the rest of your life searching for the solution – rather than choosing a long-term strategy. But what about when things like the flu epidemic take place? I considered myself to be fairly healthy with a strong immune system, but I still got knocked down. Why? Was it something I did? Could I have done something different? Was I living optimally before I got sick? The answer is no – to all of those questions. I was not living optimally, however, there was also nothing I did to cause it, and there was nothing I could have done differently to prevent it, because that’s in the past. Going forward, however, I can make different choices.

I can choose to drink better water, more often, in larger amounts. I can also choose to go to bed earlier, and sleep better – giving my body more opportunity for rest and restoration. Food and exercise will also play a role. By making a deliberate decision to incorporate more fruits and vegetables, as well as daily movement in any form, I will be providing my body with the best possible scenario to heal and become stronger. The best part is, by making these decisions I will be owning my own power. In a way, it’s both a catalyst and a happy side effect of living a healthier life. It’s cyclical, and it will fuel itself.

One more thing, though – a big part of owning my power is also making the choice not to shame myself (and feel guilt) if I should choose something defined as “less healthy.” Life is about moderation, and life is about choices. A bowl of ice cream or a side order of French fries is a choice – it’s also a choice to feel happy about it and enjoy it fully, or to feel guilt about it and remorse. THAT is truly owning your power. So, just as my friend has embraced her own power by creating a mantra by which she lives her life, so can you. Every morning you have a choice to make on how you will approach your day. And every night, when you are lying in bed about to fall asleep, you have the power to choose how you will look back on your day and your choices. It’s up to you. Once you begin owning your power, the rest will naturally start falling into place. Amazing. And it all begins with you….with your choices.

THree THings

Body – What do you choose to drink first thing when you wake up in the morning? Water or coffee? Which one is more consistent with living optimally? Coffee is fine, but when you wake up, your body has become more dehydrated overnight. A glass of water might wake you up faster than the caffeine would.

Mind – If you find yourself feeling guilt about something – it’s probably an old pattern of belief. Pause. Give yourself a break, and see if you can make a decision to think differently.

Spirit – Honoring yourself is the greatest gift. It will give you the strength to take the initial steps toward living optimally.

In Love and Light,

Martina

Exploring

In honor of Columbus Day, I decided to look at exploration and its role today. First a definition: “Explore – [ik-splawr, -splohr] 1) to traverse or range over for the purpose of discovery; 2) to look into closely; 3) to investigate into, esp. mechanically, as with a probe; and 4) to search for, search out.” Though the age of the Great Explorers is generally over, I think that it actually continues to this very day – every day. For aren’t we all, in our own way, explorers?

Let me explain. If, in fact, exploring means to look into something closely, or to go over or across something for the purpose of discovery – then I maintain that we are all explorers every day that we wake up. Think about it: at your job and in your relationships, you spend time looking at things quite closely, searching for things: answers, solutions, ideas. We spend most of every day doing our best to improve something. That, in itself, is the essence of exploration. When we try to improve the productivity at our work, or when we attempt to improve our relationships with loved ones, we are exploring new ground with each thought, emotion and feeling we address. We pioneer new ways of thinking, acting and relating to one another. We do things differently than we did the day before, or month before, or year before. And we do this all because we are searching for something more, something better. We know it’s out there – we don’t always know how to get to it, but we keep on exploring and pushing forward.

As someone who has surrendered to a life of active exploration, I know firsthand the challenges and rewards that come with this kind of pioneering. It is one of the most difficult and wonderful things I have ever done. I am a student of the world and everything it has to offer, both the beautiful and the less-than-beautiful. I experience things with new eyes every day, and I can experience the same things with jaded eyes a short while later. I have been hurt, and I have hurt others. I have felt love, joy and peace – and (I hope) I have shared those same gifts with the world. Exploring means not only being open to the many wonders and treasures of the Universe, but also being open to the darker side of things, and accepting its role. For without the darkness, there can be no light. Every good thing needs its opposite to reinforce its existence. Just as day has night, and dark has light – so, too, does exploration include wondrous discovery and seemingly unbearable hardship. Sacrifice seems to be an integral part of exploration.

But what are we sacrificing when we explore better ways of being in a relationship with someone we love? For some, they sacrifice the comfort of being able to choose what to do, whenever they want to do it: total independence. For others, they may be sacrificing having the cap put back on the toothpaste, or the dishes cleaned every night. The size of the sacrifice is entirely subjective. It may not bother me that the towels aren’t hung on the rack properly, but it may bother you. We each sacrifice things in our own way, in order to reap the rewards of something greater. And every day we create new ways to enhance and improve what we already have, we become explorers. That’s what the Great Discoverers knew. They had no idea what was out there – they just “knew” there was something more, perhaps something better, something that would enhance their lives and the lives of their people. It was this kind of knowing that propelled them forward, as it does for us. We may not be aware of what lies ahead for us in our jobs or relationships, but we do know that in exploring growth and change, we become open to the possibility of something better.

It is an understatement to say that many in today’s world are searching for answers to tough questions. As an example, many people want or wonder about “enlightenment” and “inner peace.” Collectively, we are beginning to become a society of explorers once more. This exploration is an inner journey – far more profound than trips around a once flat world, though equally as important in setting aside old belief systems and thought patterns. As you go about your day, what beliefs or habits are you willing to challenge and explore? Are there alternatives to your established mode of doing things? Just as the Great Explorers helped to discover an alternative route to the Orient what new routes to peace, love, happiness and wellness in your relationships are you willing to create? What new paths of productivity are you willing to pave at work? Something to think about.

THree THings

Body – If you’ve always done the same exercise; what would happen if you changed it up once or twice a week? If you’re a runner, what would tai chi do for you? If you practice yoga, how about trying spinning?

Mind – There are so many wonderful opportunities to learn on our planet. If you have always been a sports fan – have you ever tried opera? Or if you love classical music, have you also been open-minded enough to hear the artistry in the rhyme of rap? Other cultures, languages, food, art, history, religion – there’s so much out there waiting for you. What would you do, if you had three extra hours today to learn something new?

Spirit – As always, the Spirit is the door through which all internal exploration begins. What have you always wondered about, deep inside? If you have a burning question that has slowly fizzled into a glowing ember, but remains lit inside your core – perhaps it’s time to pick up a book, or find a lecture, or talk to a teacher. Perhaps it’s time to fan that flame a little and awaken your Spirit on this path of exploration. What do you think? Aren’t you just a little curious?

In love and light,

Martina