All This Talk of Simplicity – Why Does It Matter?

Lachlan Brown on Simplicity

Lachlan Brown recently wrote about the Buddhist habits of simplicity that really make for a beautiful life! This is what Lachlan said, paraphrased, along with my own commentary.

Habit 1 – Outer Decluttering

¨Prins Siddhartha abandoned everything when he realized the frustrating nature of materialism, and thus became the Enlightened One. 2300 years later, Buddhist monks do the same. They keep material possessions to a minimum and only hold what they need to live their life. Usually this will all fit in a small backpack. They completely declutter their life.¨

Habit 2 – Inner Decluttering: Taking Care of Others

¨In many Buddhist circles, monks learn to do things not for themselves, but for the whole world. When they meditate, it’s for the sake of everyone. They attempt to attain enlightenment to reach their full potential and help those in need. When you can develop this kind of selfless attitude, you focus less on your personal problems. You get less emotional about small things and your mind becomes calm. This is what’s called inner decluttering: making room for others and dumping selfish habits.¨

Habit 3 – Meditating

¨One of the main reasons you become a monk is to have more time to meditate. Most monks wake up early and meditate for 1 to 3 hours and do the same at night. This kind of practice changes the brain. The benefits of meditation have been widely documented.¨

Habit 4 – Following the Wise

¨In western society, we have an unhealthy relationship with old age. But for Buddhist monks, they see elder people as having wisdom. They seek elder spiritual guides that can help them on their path. If you look around, there are always insightful people to learn from. Older people have more experience which means they can offer countless life lessons.¨

 

Habit 5 – Listening Mindfully and Without Judgment

¨Our brains naturally judges others as part of establishing the pecking order and evolution. But according to Buddhists, the point of communication is to help others and ourselves suffer less. The main goal of mindful communication is to take in everything that someone is saying without evaluating it.¨

Habit 6 – Change is the Law of the Universe

¨According to Buddhist master Sazuki, a crucial principle we all need to learn is to accept change: ‘Without accepting the fact that everything changes, we cannot find perfect composure. But unfortunately, although it is true, it is difficult for us to accept it. Because we cannot accept the truth of transiency, we suffer.’ Everything changes, it’s the fundamental law of the universe.

However, Sazuki says we can overcome this by recognizing that the contents of our minds are in perpetual flux. Everything about consciousness comes and goes. Realizing this in the heat of the moment can diffuse fear, anxiety, anger, grasping, despair. For example, it’s hard to stay angry when you see anger for what it is. This is why Zen teach that the moment is all that exists. Sazuki says: ‘Whatever you do, it should be an expression of the same deep activity. We should appreciate what we are doing. There is no preparation for something else.’¨

Habit 7 – Living the Moment

¨As humans it can be tough to simply embrace the present moment. We tend to think about past events or worry about what the future holds. Our mind can naturally drift. Mindfulness encourages us to refocus. Practising mindfulness enables us to get better at redirecting our thoughts back to what we’re actually engaged in. Without judging ourselves for getting lost in our thoughts, we simply acknowledge that we lost our attention and direct our focus to our senses or any task we’re engaged in.¨

 

 

What Happened Today That Made Me Grateful for Life

Thank you @sanibelsprout for the reminder: ¨The best thing for being sad,¨ replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, ¨is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails.¨ What I learnt today was a deeper level of humility to the fact that we’ll never know when our time is up. My husband was meters away from the attack site at Drottninggatan in April. Today, I was meters away from where another truck had just crashed into cars on Söder, Stockholms southside. As I strangely marked myself safe, just in case, I noticed not fear for my own life, but wanted to make sure that my kids and husband would know where I was and that I was thinking about them. I learnt that our every-days are our most precious. Our huge experiences in life are special but the day-to-day itself is so magical. That we get to wake up again, with all our faculties, and kissed our loved ones. Again. Humbled and grateful I carry on with a usual Tuesday.

#grateful #lifeisprecious #Iappreciate #mylife #whatihave and that #alliswell

Give, Give, And Then Give Some More

“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.”       – Maya Angelou

Tired of not having enough?

I’ve said it before.

I’ll say it again.

You want more – you shed.

Give. Give. Give.

Look around your life and see where you have more than you absolutely need.

More than one yellow top? Give one away.

More than one cheese grater? Give one away.

More than one dollar? Give one away.

ANY time I want to see more money start flowing towards me, I start looking for things to give away; money, things, food, time, support, attention – anything. Always, ALWAYS, does the actual money start flowing again. If you’ve never tried it, now’s the time. The best time is when it’s hard to give, when you feel like you’ll run out. You’ll reverse your scarcity thinking and get back into flow mode.

Here are some of my favourite ways to give:

  1. Feng Shui – I mean it. Really don’t have more ¨stuff¨ than you actually need.
  2. Offer your skills.
  3. Donate to charity.
  4. Find a cause – I care about consciousness raising and so get behind people and organizations that do just that.
  5. Give blood. If you can. I’m anaemic so last time I gave blood, it didn’t go so well. But if you can, you should.
  6. Listen to someone’s problem. It’s not a nuisance. It’s a great opportunity to give.
  7. Mentor someone that wants to learn what you know.
  8. Run to raise money. You may not have money but you have legs. And people without legs have completed charity runs even. So can you.

For more ideas, see Huff Post, Real Simple and others’ ways of giving back:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/15/5-ways-to-give-back-witho_n_1207691.html

https://www.realsimple.com/work-life/life-strategies/inspiration-motivation/giving-back

https://greatist.com/discover/ways-to-give-back

Would love to get more ideas – from YOU!

Xoxo,

Coach Jo

¨No one has ever become poor by giving.¨- Anne Frank

 

Why I’ll Never Say, “I Can’t Afford It”

– From rags to riches…ish…

When I was a kid, my mom was a single mom with me. She was a freshly hatched journalist trying to build a career and feed her kid at the same time. I kid you not, we had a standing joke where she’d come home and say, ¨got your favorite food for dinner! ¨ and I’d respond, ¨Oh no – not blood pudding – not again! ¨ The, she’d explain that blood pudding was ¨nutritious¨. And cheap. I wasn’t that kind of kid though. Still ain’t.

I scoured her wardrobe for her finest dresses and shoes, and adorned myself with any jewelry I could find. I liked fine things and my mother groaned, ¨how could I have gotten a daughter with champagne taste while I have such a beer wallet? ¨ I often pointed things out in stores I yearned for and the routine answer was, ¨we can’t afford it…¨ That’s when              I vowed to myself that I would never say those words, ¨I can’t afford it…¨

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had plenty of ¨on-a-shoe-string¨ moments in my life. However, I always said, ¨I choose not to buy this¨ – since that was the truth! In the age of credit cards, I could buy the things I want, but I chose not to. I didn’t want to put myself in that kind of debt or pay that kind of interest. It was very empowering to claim my choice in the matter of money, rather than being victimized by the lack of it.

Another thing it taught me was serious work ethic. Like the saying goes, ¨you can’t have a illion-dollar dream with a minimum wage work ethic¨!

Another story – when I got to my gawky teens, complete with glasses, braces and all, I begged my mom for contact lenses. I just wanted to feel pretty. They were fairly new on the market at the time, and my mother was wary. ¨You can have them when you are eighteen, ¨ she said. ¨ ¨Eighteen! ¨ I said. ¨My good years will be over by then! ¨ That’s when she uttered the fatal words, ¨unless you pay for them yourself, of course…¨ Ooooooo, big mistake…!        I got a job after school at the local burger joint, working the night shift. I closed up at 3 AM and went to school at 8 AM. I kept doing that until I had the money to buy the contacts. What a day that was! It didn’t take a million dollars but it was a dream that took effort – and money.

The moral of the story? You can have anything you want, just not all at the same time. Our lack of patience, perseverance and yes, sometimes flailing work ethic, can get the best of us and we jump the gun – and the hard work – to get what we want. But boy, does it taste better when we’ve actually earned it, doesn’t it?

So – In the spirit of ¨No More Lack¨ – take some inventory:

  • How often do you say, ¨I can’t afford it¨ out loud, or to yourself?
  • How often do you say, ¨I can’t afford it, but I’m going to get it anyway¨?
  • What memory can you recall when you worked for something and truly earned it?
  • What did that feel like?
  • How often do you wish for things, write them down, and just have fun wishing?

It is SO liberating to live liberated around money – to feel free whilst ON the journey to actual financial freedom. You want that? Get in touch and share where you’re at with all of this, and I’ll help the best I can…

Coach Jo

coaching@sawalha.com

 

 

 

 

Summer’s here! Feeling Self-Conscious in a Bikini…?

Then take this survey…!

  1. How likely are you to go to the gym in the next 24 hours?

 

Extremely likely

 

Very likely

 

Somewhat likely

 

Not so likely

 

Not at all likely

 

 

  1. How likely are you to go for a run in the next 24 hours?

 

Extremely likely

 

Very likely

 

Somewhat likely

 

Not so likely

 

Not at all likely

 

 

  1. How likely are you to go for a walk in the next 24 hours?

 

Extremely likely

 

Very likely

 

Somewhat likely

 

Not so likely

 

Not at all likely

 

 

  1. How likely are you to abstain from refined sugar in the next 24 hours?

 

Extremely likely

 

Very likely

 

Somewhat likely

 

Not so likely

 

Not at all likely

 

  1. How likely are you to skip alcohol in the next 24 hours?

 

Extremely likely

 

Very likely

 

Somewhat likely

 

Not so likely

 

Not at all likely

 

 

  1. How likely are you to enjoy taking off your clothes for the beach?

 

Extremely likely

 

Very likely

 

Somewhat likely

 

Not so likely

 

Not at all likely

 

 

 

If you have answered three or more questions with ¨Not so likely/Not at all likely¨, contact me!

I’ll tell you what I’d do with you so you’ll like yourself this summer season.

Free of charge. Then, if you want to hire me to implement that program, we’ll talk about it.

But not until you hear about a way out of feeling self-conscious on the beach.

 

Warmly,

 

Coach Jo

 

 

The Artists Have It Right

 

Whenever I am suffering a creative dry spell, three top things I do are:

  1. I dip back into to the Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron, and restart the morning pages.
  2. No matter what my current situation is like, I write out what my IDEAL situation at the moment. This way, I offset any ¨bah¨ or doomsday thoughts about what is about to happen next.
  3. I do something for someone else. Makes me feel really good.

What are your greatest tips on regaining your creative flow?

Warmly,

Coach Jo

7 Reasons Why It’s Great to Be an Adult

We often complain out loud or to ourselves about the burdens of being an adult (especially if you are also a parent). No more late nights and long sleepy mornings, no burning midnight oil out of sheer inspiration and no more letting bills be someone else’s problem.

BUT – it’s actually GREAT being an adult.

Why?

  1. You’re less concerned about what others are doing and more into what you’re
  2. You know how to disagree without cutting someone down.
  3. You know how to apologize.
  4. You love the ones you’re with – and stop going after those who are not that into you – and you truly appreciate your actual friends.
  5. You appreciate your parents. You are thankful for the sacrifice they made even though you didn’t know it at the time.
  6. You want to talk about what actually matters. Idle talk is shelved and you are concerned about the quality of your conversations and the state of the world (and what you can do about it).
  7. You’re confident in yourself and stop wasting so much time trying to change. Instead, you want to learn. You’re becoming an “adult — and it is simply great!

So – being an adult isn’t as boring as you once thought it would be. Your relationships and richer and deeper – the ones with others as well as the one with yourself….

To find out how to have integrity with this thing called adulthood and actually ENJOY it in the way above examples show – shoot me an email and I will give you 3 hot tips to get started on THAT journey!

Warmly,

Coach Jo

coaching@sawalha.com

Want To Know What Lying Does To You…?

It rots your soul. More specifically, it drastically limits your self expression as you will be busy keeping track of what you said and to whom. It’s a dark hole that it only becomes harder to climb out of the deeper you dig.

But there is a way out. I will give you the first tip.

List all lies you’ve told that you can think of.

Out right ones. White ones. All of them

After that, email me and I will tell you how to do a clean up job on them.

Love,

Coach Jo

coaching@sawalha.com

 

What Patterns Does Trump Have You Think…?

Thinking about patterns as I read this mornings political rhetoric.

Jobs’ 30th birthday invitation said:
“There’s an old Hindu saying that goes, ‘In the first 30 years of your life, you make your habits; For the last 30 years of your life, your habits make you.’ Come help celebrate mine.”

What are your patterns that, if you look, have followed you for a very long time?

Which ones make you laugh?

Which ones make you cringe?

Which ones do you wish you were DONE with – forever?

Warmly,

Coach Jo

Curious What Your Super Powers Are…?

If you read some of my latest posts, you know I’m on my Super Power train! I asked a few people of sound judgement who’ve known me for a while, what my Super Powers are?

The reason was, and you know this from StrengthsFinder 2.0,  that we get way more mileage out of leveraging our strengths than improving our weaknesses! I got some great responses; some’re simple validations and some surprising. Here’s one:

¨You think on your feet. You quickly capture what something is about and put it in context. You understand what is important! You can assess priorities fast and discard the rest. You are a doer! You get things done…¨ – B.K., Stockholm

Here’s how this relates to you – finding out what your Super Powers are will propel you to do just that! Prioritize better and faster, pivot when needed, get out of inertia or postponing what you need to do. In fact, I bet it’ll help you:

  • Make more money – by focusing on your money makers without getting distracted
  • Be more creative – since you are hanging out the area where you are most comfortable
  • Connect more deeply with people, especially your customers, since we tend to communicate more where we feel confident

Curious what your Super Powers are? – click here to send an email and say you’re interested to find out!

Thanks for engaging, for fighting for it, and for being who you are…!

 

Xoxo,

Coach Jo