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Stepping Back

Did you notice that InspireBytes™ took a little break? I’m sorry I’ve been absent for a couple of weeks. I had some things to work on that required I take a step back from writing.

Which is the subject of this week’s blog: stepping back.

Ok, so have you ever noticed that you can get lost in the minutiae of life? Or that you feel like the routine you have established is weighing you down? Alternatively, what if you don’t have a routine, because you feel like you’re always behind the 8-ball just trying to keep up?

This is when it’s SUPER important to recognize the impact of taking a step back.

Sometimes we get so mired in the little things that we can’t see the forest for the trees. Life in balance affords us a view of both the leaves and the grove of trees.

I can hear some of you saying, “But, how?” Good question.

The answer is found in taking a step back. For me that meant taking a few things off my plate to create some room in my sphere. Whether it’s emotional room, mental room, or physical room doesn’t matter – it’s room. Room creates space, and space allows for more breath. More breath generates peace and creativity.

For you it might mean giving up your workouts for a week. Or asking your partner to cook dinner. Or going for that long-overdue massage. Anything that creates room in your day-to-day calendar that gives you breath and encourages creativity and peace is taking a step back.

Trust me, the laundry will be there tomorrow, but maybe that movie on the Hallmark channel won’t be. Or the treadmill will still work tomorrow, but maybe it won’t be sunny outside like it is today.

Stepping back allows you to get a broader perspective on life, which helps you keep life in greater balance. Balance is a key factor in health and wellness, as well as happiness.

So, the next time you’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or simply ‘blah’ from routine, see if you can take a step back, clear out some room and allow yourself to breathe a little more. The result might be more peace… and more joy!

Choice, Fear, Love, and Open-Mindedness

Open-mindedness and acceptance do not translate into homogeneity. Instead they promote a broadening of diversity and uniqueness.

I read a friend’s FB post recently that lamented the lack of open minded decisions resulting from the recent terror attacks. I understand it. When the going gets tough and the water gets turbulent, sometimes the immediate reaction is to batten down the hatches. Stay small, stay safe, stay secure.

But that’s a reptilian reaction. It’s a “fight, flight, freeze” response to the extreme stimulus of terrorism. It also has no basis in cognitive thought.

Therefore, in order to promote acceptance and diversity, we need to re-engage our frontal lobes and get out of out lizard minds. We need to do something that alleviates the limbic system’s response.

What does that look like? Well, there are many answers to that question. Here’s mine:

1) Acknowledge the limbic response and fill your heart with gratitude that it exists. It has saved us many a time in dangerous situations. We don’t want to get rid of it.

Then

2) Choose to engage the frontal lobe. This is the thinking/cognitive part of your brain. It’s where mindfulness resides. It’s where you have choice.choice-fear-love

And as you all know, choice is what matters. Choice creates change, and change can be born of love or fear. You choose.

 

Spirituality, Faith and Religion

In light of the attacks on Charlie Hebdo and by Boko Haram, I wrote this last week. Perhaps you saw it on my Facebook page:

When you can be murdered for what you believe, say, write, or draw, in the name of holiness or religion, rest assured that this is neither holy, nor religion. This is fundamentalist doctrine born of man, not God.

There is no God, Prophet, Higher Source or Divine Essence that dictates the destruction of another human being in their name. None. Never has been, never will be.

Let us be clear, then, when placing blame. The blame rests with the perpetrators and those who have indoctrinated them. They are acting outside of all law and religion.

Let us also be clear in the solution. The solution is to embrace all people of all religions and beliefs, of all races, as one humanity.

“Religion” means to re-connect. To reconnect with God/Source/Love and with one another. Division breeds fear, and fear breeds opportunity for indoctrination. It is time to lay down the fear and begin on the path of understanding, compassion, and love. And hold those accountable who would choose to do otherwise.

Peace and blessings to all, especially the victims and their families and friends.
xoxo

I wanted to share it again here, because I’ve been reading a lot of opinions on what has been happening around the world with regard to terrorism as an aspect of religion. It occurred to me that an honest discussion and understanding of what it means to have faith, spirituality or religion is what’s called for. To that end, I have started creating a workshop/talk on that very subject that I will most likely present in Houston later this Spring, and take elsewhere thereafter titled Spirituality, Faith and Religion: A Modern Understanding.

I think what’s most important for us to do at this time is to remember two key principles:

  1. All religions (ALL) are about reconnecting to God (Universe, Source, Divine, Love – pick a word, they all work), and
  2. All terrorism is based in fear and a lack of understanding or desire to learn.

They have absolutely NOTHING to do with each other. When one is used to justify the other, not only is it an affront to those who are of the religion being blamed, but it is an affront to people of ANY faith, spirituality or religion, anywhere.

Today, may I suggest that along with our rallies and outrage over the murders and senseless killings, we also take a moment to pause, breathe and reconnect with who we are, remembering that we are all here together, all equal in God’s eyes, regardless of how we get there. From that place, we can go back into the world with love and acceptance, embracing the beautiful diversity of appearance, thought, and belief that HE created and also embraces.

The Truth About Perfectionism

Perfectionism has a duality to it. The realization of this duality is the key to liberating ourselves from the shackles of chronic perfectionism.

Here’s the simple truth:

Perfection is unattainable in application. There will always (always) be another way to do something better, or more perfectly. “Perfect” as an attainable goal doesn’t exist.

Life is messy, strange, beautiful, wonderful, scary, and everything in between. In its own magnificent way, life is imperfect.

Accepting that life is imperfect in all its glory is freedom. And, once we accept that truth, we actually find that life feels pretty darn perfect, exactly as it is.

So, I ask you:

Are you an imperfect perfectionist? Or…

Would you like to be a perfect imperfectionist?

The choice is yours. 😉

 

Being is a Choice.

Be that. It’s a choice.

We’ve all heard about how we are human beings, not human doings. It’s true. But let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water.

“Doing” is about action, and action involves choice.

I once had a conversation with a client that went something like this:

Client: “I’m not an angry person, that’s not who I am. I don’t want to be angry; I want to be the kind, thoughtful, balanced person I know I am.”

Me: “Ok.”

Lots of questions, guidance, and discussion ensued until we came full circle back to the original statement.

Client: “I just want to be who I know myself to be.”

Me: “So, be that. It’s a choice.”

Client: “Wait.. Is it that simple?”

Me: “Sometimes, often, yes, it can be. It is.”

Being is a choice. When what you do is out of alignment with who you are, struggle ensues.

So, being is a choice.

You are a human BEING who DOES things in alignment with your being… or not. It’s a choice.

We all have emotions: anger, sorrow, frustration, joy, among so many others. The emotions will always show up. They’re always there. What we CHOOSE to DO about them is how we are choosing to show up and BE in the world.

So, be that. It’s your choice.

My NEW book – My FIRST book….it’s almost here!

It’s finally here! Well, almost. My first book

What If..?
How to Create the Life You Want
Using the Power of Possibility

is just back from my editor, and I am gearing up to publish it in the new year. I’m very excited to share my work with you, which is the culmination of years of study, exploration, and experience.

It’s a “how to” book that guides you through the most powerful process I’ve discovered to creating the life you desire, by employing simple easy-to-follow tools for manifesting and discovering your true self. I’ve been using it myself, and with my clients, and have already seen the positive results that come from engaging in this powerful process.

That being said, I’m now asking for your help to get it published and into the hands of those who could benefit from the work I’ve done in understanding how to create change that’s in alignment with who we are at our core.

I’ve created a fundraising page that gives you all the details you need to consider supporting this project. Check it out here or use the information below, and please consider helping me share my work with a wider audience. This is just the beginning of what we can do together.

As always, I’m super grateful for your support and encouragement. (Plus, I’ve set up a few “reward” categories for your donation.)

Thank you – from my heart, thank you.

Fundraising site: www.gofundme.com/martina

How to Live Better

It’s a simple concept that we complicate. How to live better is not rocket science, but it does involve some experimenting by trial and error in some ways. In the end, though, what it boils down to is this:

You can either live by default or live deliberately.

You can’t do both.

So, if you’d like to live better, it’s time to start looking at ways you can shift your default (aka: reactive) decisions into deliberate (aka: proactive) decisions. It really is that simple. Great change occurs in tiny steps and is based in everyday routine decisions. Simple doesn’t mean easy, but it also doesn’t have to be hard. It just needs to be deliberate.

Happy choosing! 🙂

Speaking to Joy

Recently, I was speaking with a client that is venturing into the online dating world, and this came out of my mouth:

Find someone who speaks to your joy, not your fears.

So often in life we look for a mate who meets certain criteria, because it’s what we think we want or are told we want. We look for things like: successful, attractive, sense of humor, tall, etc. All of these things are great and not necessarily fear-based. But if we scratch beneath the surface just a little bit, they actually are. Here’s why:

All of these criteria are externalized to your joy. Therefore, the criteria themselves are based on some internal fear that you are experiencing for which you want someone else to fill the void. Another way to say that is:

When a desire is based in the energy of lack, rather than joy, we are setting ourselves up for future disappointment.

It’s an idea worth exploring, because nobody (nobody) can fill an internal void. What a partner CAN do, however, is help to expand your existing joy to where you end up filling the void yourself.

That’s what I mean by finding someone who speaks to your joy. Now, what does that look like?

If you think about people (friends, family, etc.) who already exist in your life and make your heart smile when you’re around them… that speaks to your joy. It’s not about external attributes. It’s about recognizing how someone makes you feel.

Therefore, the question isn’t:

  • Who are they?
  • What do they do? or
  • How do they look?

The question should always be:

How do I feel when I’m with them?

If you can answer that with a smile, you’re more than halfway there. 🙂

Living with Ease

This is a new-ish concept for me, or at least a new “label” for something I had already begun doing intuitively. So, what do I mean by

“Living with ease”…?

In our society, it seems that life has gotten rather busy. As one of my grad school professors teaches: being busy has become a sort of status symbol. We have learned to take pride in being busier than others. We have scheduled and pushed our families and ourselves to the point of illness, exhaustion, and dis-ease.

“Dis-ease” is a common term among the wellness community, and it’s SO accurate. Wellness is about ease… ease of living, of being in your body, of care, of love. Ease is a state of grace and homeostasis. It’s natural.

So, we’ve taken what is natural to us and systematically removed it from our lives.

Not sure what I’m talking about? Here’s one example of what dis-ease looks like in a very common way:

You set your alarm in the morning for the latest possible moment you need to wake up to get everything done and get out the door in a hurried fashion.

It’s only one example that may seem insignificant, but taken collectively with the myriad other examples, it adds up to a lifestyle of dis-ease. So, we need to ask the question:

What if you deliberately built moments of ease into your life?

Here’s an example of what moments of ease can look like:

  • Taking the time to consciously say “good morning” to a loved one, perhaps adding a hug or a kiss.
  • Waking up 10-15 minutes earlier in order to sip your favorite beverage in the morning, deliberately, and in a calm and ease-worthy manner, enjoying its flavors and sensation.
  • Saying “good night” in the same way I described saying good morning.

Saying “good night” is one of my favorite things. It’s a small gesture that has great significance for me. I couldn’t tell you exactly why, but it makes me smile to hear as I end my day and head to sleep. It takes less than 2 seconds, and it creates great ease before drifting off to sleep. What a gift!

It’s in these collective “moments of ease” that we create the life we imagine. Over time, with deliberate use, they add up to more than the sum of their parts. They imbue our lives with grace and love, filtering into all that we do and all that we are. Then one day we wake up and find that we are indeed living with ease.