10 Mindful Declarations of Independence

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Freedoom,… just scream it loud out

Celebrate Freedom by Freeing your mind
– 10 Mindful Declarations of Independence

This 4th of July I find myself asking this question: How can I honor the freedom I’ve been given?

I’m not going to fight in a war, becoming xenophobic isn’t my style, and just waving a flag doesn’t seem like enough. Freedom means more to me that freedom of speech or religion.

For me freedom means trying to live a life free of all the things that hold me back.
So with that in mind I offer:

10 Mindful Declarations of Independence

1. Declare independence from limiting self-definitions
We are so good at defining ourselves in limiting ways. We are constantly saying what we can’t do, who we aren’t, and what holds us back. But so rarely do we challenge these definitions.

I have had clients tell me they don’t like to exercise and later tell me how much they love to get out and move. When we repeat limiting definitions we only reinforce what holds us back. But when we challenge those definitions in thought and action we often find they were never true to begin with.

2. Declare independence from doing something else while you eat.
We spend approximately 38,003 hours of our lives eating. That’s over 4 years! Unfortunately, we spend most of those hours not paying attention to our food.

When we read, watch, and text at every meal we are loosing all the joy of tasting smelling, chewing, and delighting in everything eating has to offer. When we pay attention to even just a few bites of every meal we grow our capacity for appreciation and add years of pleasure to our lives.

3. Declare independence from stuff you don’t need.
If you have ever taken a long trip, you quickly relize how little you actually need. Yet, we fill our lives with so much stuff.

When we acquire more than we need we lose ourselves. Our priorites get mixed up in the process of buying, caring for, and organizing everything we own. When we let go of the things we don’t need we get more time to do things we love.

4. Declare independence from believing critical thoughts.
We all have critical thoughts. And even though we’d like to get rid of them, doing so is hard and maybe not so beneficial.

When we identify with critical thought we lose faith and become afraid to fail. When we create space from critical thinking and realize those thoughts aren’t who we are. We can learn from their wisdom without being debilitated by their perspective.

5. Declare independence from comparing yourself to fitness models and celebrities.
Aspiration is great, but comparison isn’t. We each have our own paths through this world and each of our stories is as beautiful as it is unique.

When we compare ourselves to celebrities and fitness models we do ourselves the disservice of not honoring our own journey. When we start to look at our own lives and bodies with admiration, we generate amazing energy and find more peace in every day of our lives.

6. Declare independence from your iPod, iPhone, and iPad.
I love technology as much as the next person, but it’s important to be able to put these things aside.

When we spend every moment looking at, listening to, or typing on some device we don’t allow space for reflection or change. When we set these things aside for even a short time, we find we can connect more, reflect more, and be present in a way we’ve forgotten.

7. Declare independence from letting fear stop you.
There is nothing wrong with being afraid. In fact, fear tells us that we are alive and that we care. But we mustn’t let fear rule our lives.

When we let fear control us we shrink the scope of what is possible. When face our fears, we gain the confidence to take risks and the faith to endure whatever comes our way.

8. Declare independence from multitasking
Multitasking should be defined as trying to do many things poorly.

When we try to increase our efficiency by doing two or more things at a time we not only lose our focus, but we also lose ability to perform with excellence. When we unitask we perform better and allow ourselves to become absorbed fully in what we are doing. And full absorption is the foundation of great joy.

9. Declare independence from letting your mind control you
Your mind is not the boss of you. It likes to think it is, but it likes to think all sorts of things.
Although your mind is a powerful ally, its perspective is limited.

When we allow our minds to become dictators of our lives, trouble ensues. But when we balance the power of our minds with the compassion and intuition of our hearts, we learn to live life less like a math problem and more like a creative writing project.

10. Decleare independence from independence itself.
We can’t do any of the things listed above without help from others.

When we think we could or should do everything on our own, we vastly limit our own potential. When we ask for help and acknowledge all we receive, we grow our capacity for gratitude and ability to do amazing things with our lives.

It is my hope that you will join me on this 4th of July in reflecting on our freedom and try to find new ways to expand our horizons. Though I have been given a lot by living in this democracy, that gift pales in comparison to the gift I can give myself and others when I slow down, pay attention, and let go of the things that hold me back.

What do your want to declare your independence from?




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Rebirth: 3 Steps to a New You

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So this is Easter. A celebration of new life and miraculous events.

No matter what your faith it’s a great opportunity to harness the energy of this holiday

In that spirit I give you
3 Simple Steps to a New You.

1. Death
Take out a pen and write down one thing about yourself your ready to lay to rest.

It can be a habit, a memory, a grudge, a guilt. Anything you want to let go of.

Next write down the new thing you want to be born to take it’s place.

It can be new habit, a new approach to life, a new feeling. Anything you want to manifest.

Then write the following statement:

This year I vow to let go of __________   by looking into it deeply and then letting it go.

To support this vow I will give birth to ________ by facing my fears and embracing a new way.

Repeat step 3, three times a week the first thing after you wake up for 30 days.

We are being born and dying all the time. But if we don’t set the intention to change we will be reborn with the same patterns.

Take the spirit of easter and spring to plant the seeds of a new way of being.


Adapt: The 3 Steps to Everyday Happiness

Adapt A Chameleon Mindful Fitness mindfitmove Learn to adapt what is mindfulness?
Fixed Ideas
Fixed ideas are the source of 90% of our suffering.

It goes like this:
– We get a picture in our head.
– Then we look at the world.
– We compare.
– We realize they don’t match.
– We get sad.
– We get angry.
– We get frustrated.

But it doesn’t have to be like this. We can learn to work with these fixed ideas. We can learn to adapt.

The Audition
When I was a high school senior I went in to audition for a play. I was sure I was perfect for the lead.

I had spent 4 years in the drama program. I had prepared for the part. I knew was going to get it. They owed it to me.

As the auditions progressed, I kept waiting for my chance. I read for a few other parts. But I wasn’t getting called for the lead.

All of a sudden the audition was over. I was devastated. I did get a part, but it wasn’t the lead.

You Don’t Deserve Nuthin’
Looking back, I realize I wasn’t right for the part. Even if I had tried out, I wouldn’t have gotten it. It just wasn’t me.

But at the time, it was hard. It was hard because, I had formed a fixed idea. I thought I deserved the part.

After I was over getting upset, I realized a hard truth. You don’t get something just because you think you deserve it.

It was a tough lesson to learn. But once I was able to let go of that idea, my life became much easier.

You can’t just flip a switch and get rid of all fixed ideas. But, you can learn to be more flexible, to adapt. And if you do you’ll be happier everyday of your life.

The 3 Keys to Everyday Happiness

1. Hold Your Preferences Lightly
Ever heard that story about the band that demanded a bowl of brown M&M’s at every show? Crazy right?

Yet, we all have our own version of this. Little idiosyncrasies that we ‘need’ to be happy. I once got into a fight over the proper way to load silverware into a dishwasher. (handles up and pre-sorted obviously)

The truth is unless it’s a food allergy you don’t need it that way. You just like it that way. It’s just one preference in a universe of preferences. You’ll be much happier if you learn to hold it lightly. Or even better let it go completely.

2. You Can’t Should’ve Done Anything
You can replay that conversation again and again. You’ll never be able to go back and say the right thing. If you need to apologize do it and move on.

Once it’s happened, it’s happened. Accept responsibility for your part and work to do better next time.

Don’t waste time with arguments in your head. Holding onto the past is not adapting. Look, learn, and then let it go.

3. When It All Falls Apart, Let It Go.
Yesterday, I got locked out of my partners house… twice. Both times, I left my computer at her house. So, I couldn’t get any work done.

I could’ve gotten upset, but instead I just took the day off. I did some foam rolling, took a long shower, and did a short tempo run.

It was a great day, because I accepted that I had no control over the situation.

If your flight is delayed, if your car breaks down, take whatever action you can and then relax. Worrying doesn’t speed anything up.

As the Dalai Lama Says “Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.”

MindFitMove Practice
1. Pick one preference, one small mistake, or one mishap to let go of.
2. Look for the fixed idea that you’re holding onto.
3.Realize that just because you think it’s true doesn’t mean it’s so.
4. Let it go.
5. Notice that you haven’t let it go.
6. Let it go again.

Let’s Talk:
What weird preferences do you have, that you have a hard time letting go?

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Stop Moving Backwards - An Interview with Life Coach Jaclyn Costello

Have you ever waned to stop moving backwards, let go of the past, and really live your life?

This week I had the chance to speak with Jaclyn Costello from EnlightenLifeCoach.com
I discovered Jaclyn when  I read her article “Now is the Time to Heal” on under35project.com.

We talked about what life coaching is and why it’s hard to change your life. At the end she shares a great exercise to help us let go of the past and start moving forward today.

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Interview Questions:

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1. Your website says you do Progressive Life Coaching, What is that and how is it different from regular life coaching or other types of self improvement work?

2. How did you get interested in working with people in this way?

3. Are their elements of mindfulness and fitness you use with clients? and if so how do you use them?

4. How can people transform their lives is a lasting way?

Jaclyn Costello Interview Mindful Fitness Movement

Jaclyn Costello Bio
I am a writer, professor, & life coach, living in Las Vegas, Nevada where I currently teach at UNLV and run my coaching business. I recently finished my first book of fiction (Artifact), as well as my first book of poetry (How to Be a Human)– both of which I’m sending out at this moment to potential publishers and agents.

After years of trial and error, I’ve chiseled down my life purpose to three things:

1) exploring the world, spirituality, love, and the far reaches of the human condition
2) expressing what I know through stories, novels, and poetry
3) helping others become empowered in their own lives, ease their suffering and fears, reach their greatest potential, create loving relationships, and achieve peace of mind

To read more about what I offer, come on over to EnlightenLifeCoach.com. Or to learn more about me as an artist/writer, visit JaclynCostello.com. All the best!

Finally I want to thank Jaclyn for talking with me. She was a pleasure to talk to and I really appreciated her wisdom and insight.

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