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Is Less More?

by Brenda Wisniewski on 05/08/14

 "Order and simplification are the first steps toward the mastery of a subject." -Thomas Mann

If this is true then does that mean that order and simplification are the 1st steps toward mastery of your life?

I tend to think so.

My personal experience has been that once you strip down your life, I mean really strip it down to the point where you're almost bored then you can start to re-build and create a life that is in alignment with your values and what's important to you. When our lives are complicated and busy we don't have time to see why we're doing certain things. We're on auto pilot and merely just trying to survive. I operated like this for years and sometimes still find myself in that mode if I'm not paying attention.

It's easy to get swept up in "doing" when you have kids, friends, a job, and other responsibilities. Our society is very much a more is better, bigger is better society. But is that really true? I ask you to examine this for yourself and to not just take my word for it. Is more really better? What happens when you have too much going on? For me when I have too much going on I feel overwhelmed, stressed and pressured to get it all done. I start to get short with people, I am tired, I am not as patient with my kids, I'm grumpy and not really present in the moment because I'm thinking about what's next. I jump from one task to the next trying to accomplish the insane to-do list I created for myself.

That's the point - we created this for ourselves so we can uncreate it. Why do we need to go to every kid's birthday party that our child is invited to? We don't. Why do we need to say yes to every social invitation we get? We don't. Why do we need to take on another project at work when our plate is already full? We don't. But, why do we do it?

From my experience, I believe it could be because of a few reasons: 1) because some of us are people pleasers 2) we don't have good boundaries 3) because we think we should 4) we care about what other people think of us 5) because we don't care enough about ourselves to say no and 6) because we have an unmet need we're trying to fulfill. We are prioritizing everyone else except ourselves. Where are you in all this? What do you really want to do? If you really want to do this, ask yourself why? Is it because it's feeding your need to be liked, your need to be accepted or included or your need to be accomplished? Or is it because in your heart you really want to do this?

Chances are there are some things you do that you don't need to do. Saying yes to things you don't really want to do out of guilt or shame or a should is a habit. That's all. It's something you can re-train. And, when you stop "doing" so much you'll start to feel lighter, freer and you'll have more energy. It's like when you spring clean or clean out your closet - you always feel better. And, the best part about this is if you create space in your life and build a solid foundation you start attracting things you want.

So, start small. Take an honest look at your life and see where you can simplify things. What can you take off your to-do list? Where can you say no if it's not an absolute yes? Where can you do less to get more of what your really want?

Congratulations you're on your way to creating more space in your life for what you really want. Doesn't that feel good?

Controlling Uncertainty

by Brenda Wisniewski on 06/12/13

We all do it. Try and control our lives, especially the future. We plan for it, we make decisions based on it and we try and control it. Why? Because we think we can control it. I think at some level we all know we cannot control the future, but I also think on some level we all believe that we can to some extent. We definitely try to and we definitely do NOT like feeling out of control. Why is that?

I think it's because we're so caught up in our own personal agenda, our own vision for our lives, that we cannot trust that if we let go, even for just a moment that we just might be okay. We won't die. I know it's very scary to let go of controlling your life. I've done it. I decided a while ago to stop trying to make things happen and instead to go with the flow. I was sick and tired, literally exhausted, of trying to micro manage everything from my work to my family and personal life. I had no energy left for anything fun. Even when I made plans with friends to have fun I found myself tired. 

It's because trying to control everything is an energy drain. It zaps the life out of you. Why? Because there's no freedom in it. There's no flowing. Instead of going with the flow and being free we are constricted by our own rules and to-dos and forced into a plan, a structure that causes us stress.

What would happen if you let go for one day? For just one day, let go of your to-do list, let go of telling your staff, your children, your spouse what to do, let go of trying to manipulate the day to go your way and instead trust that whatever needs to get done will get done and whatever doesn't get done wasn't meant to get done and allow it all to be okay. Just go with the flow of the day, listening and following your heart, allowing yourself to act because you're inspired not because you have to or feel you should do something. Even at work, follow your heart, look at your daily plan and ask yourself if these things are really top priority and if so, why? Is it because someone thinks it should get done or is it something you know in your heart is the right thing to do? There is a difference. 

Once you start questioning why it is you do certain things and act in certain ways you'll begin to see that it's either just you trying to control a situation because you're afraid that if you don't it will turn out bad (you don't trust the flow of life) or it's because you're driven by unmet needs to perhaps please others and do things because you think you should versus doing them because it feels right to you.

It's a great practice, letting go of control. When accomplished a whole new world opens to you, one with less stress and more trust. In the end, we really don't know what will happen in the future so why not trust ourselves, trust our heart, that we know what's best for us in this moment, do that and let go of the rest.

Go ahead, give it a try. I'd love to hear how it works for you.

Here's to embracing uncertainty and going with the flow!

Simple Trick to Overcoming Fear

by Brenda Wisniewski on 06/07/13

My 5 year old daughter says to me the other night, "Mommy, I'm scared of the dark, will you lay down with me? I can't sleep, because I'm too scared". She has said this to me before, especially after the bombings that happened at the Boston Marathon. Having lived in Cambridge, MA for many years I have a lot of friends living there and some who were at the race, either running in it or watching their loved ones run. Unfortunately, my daughter heard me on the phone and saw some of the television reports about the day's events. This caused her to be afraid of bad guys as well. 

I've been doing my best up to this point trying to alleviate her fear by telling her she's safe, mommy is just down the hall, and by leaving the light on in  her closet all night, and trying to convince her there's nothing to worry about. But, on this night, I realized that those words were not working. She needed something else. So, I thought what if I teach her what I use in my coaching practice with my clients when releasing fears. At first, I thought she's too young, she''ll never understand it, but then I thought what do I have to lose, so I went ahead and told her one of the tools. 

I said, in simple terms, "Just stop thinking about it and instead think about something else that makes you feel good. If thinking about the dark and bad guys makes you scared then stop thinking about them and choose to think about something that you like and feels great". I went on to explain that she can choose what she thinks about, she is not her thoughts, she can let them go. She seemed to understand what I was saying and was immediately relieved that she had a tool, something new to try out. She was desperately wanting this fear to go away so she was willing to give this a try.

She went to bed that night without a problem, fell asleep right away and didn't wake up in the middle of the night. I didn't think anything of it, until the next day when we were on our way to swim class and she said to me, "Mommy, I'm going to do that thing again". I said, "What thing"? And, she said, "I'm not going to think at swim". And, I said, "Oh, you mean you're not going to think negative thoughts, but instead your going to think positive thoughts about swimming". And, she said "Yes, that thing". I went on to say "Instead of thinking about how deep the water is which makes you scared you can choose to think about how much fun swimming is and how you can't wait to jump in the pool with the other kids and you can remind yourself that you can do this." 

She would normally hang on to her teacher's hand with a death grip and have severe anxiety, because she was too scared to swim by herself. We would tell her she was safe and we would never let anything happen to her, but that never worked, she was always still frightened. Until yesterday. She went to swim class, jumped in the pool with a big smile, said hello to her teacher, then under the teacher's instructions and without hesitation she swam all the way across the pool. Her teacher looked up at me with amazement and even mouthed to me "Oh My God". She couldn't believe it. It was day and night. My daughter had a big smile on her face and was all proud. She looked back at me and said "Mommy, I did it". I said, "Yes you did - you did a great job!". The rest of the lesson was a success as well.

As I think back on this, I'm realizing that telling her she's safe is out of her control, it doesn't empower her to believe it, but by giving her this tool, and teaching her how to shift her perspective and choose her thoughts wisely she was able in an INSTANT to transform her experience. 

I hope this story inspires you to think about where you could apply this tool in your life. Where are you afraid? Where are you feeling stuck, frustrated or anxious? Try this out. Choose to think about something positive, something that makes you feel good and let those negative thoughts go and see what happens. Watch your experience change without the situation changing. It's amazing how this works and feels great, because it puts you in the driver's seat and you're no longer victim to life.

Kudos to my daughter for recognizing she didn't want to feel this way anymore and for being open to trying something new and doing something about it. She's an inspiration to me and I hope to you all as well.

Manging Your Energy

by Brenda Wisniewski on 05/22/13

Energy! What is it anyway? We hear people talk about it all the time, especially on an interview. That candidate had great energy, that candidate had bad energy. What does that mean? And, how can you ensure that you don't have "bad" energy?

To me, energy is what attracts or repels people, things and circumstances to or from you. You can be vibrating at a high frequency or a low frequency and guess what, if you're vibrating at a low frequency, chances are you're probably not liking your life all that much. Why? Because low frequencies attract more low frequencies and high frequencies attract high frequencies.

An example of a high frequency is positive thoughts. An example of a low frequency is negative thoughts. We've all heard of law of attraction, that if we think positive thoughts we'll attract what we want. Yes, that's partly true. You want to think positively, but if there's a part of you that doesn't believe what you're saying you can still vibrate at a lower frequency and not attract what you want.

For example, if you want a red corvette and think positively that someday you will own one, that increases your energy. However, if underneath that desire there is a subconscious belief that you don't deserve a red corvette, or a belief that you're not worthy of such success, then guess what, that core belief will win over and you will most likely never have that red corvette, at least not until you address this core belief and let it go. Letting it go is not as easy as it sounds, but it is possible. Once you start to truly belief you do deserve that red corvette then that is when you start to increase your vibration and attract that red corvette.

By managing your energy in this way you bring what you want to you versus painstakingly chasing after it. Instead, you allow the universe to bring it to you, you are care free and don't worry about how it's going to come. It just comes because you've put yourself on the same frequency as it.

So, what frequency are you the same as? To figure this out, just look at your life, notice where you're struggling. Is it getting that dream job? Is it finding the perfect mate? Or is it losing weight and having the great body you've always wanted? If you're struggling with something, that is a sign, that you're stuck in a story and have a limiting belief about what is possible for you. And, it's a sign, you're vibrating at a low frequency. You're energy is low. And, when you're energy is low, you continue to attract more low energy stuff that you most likely don't want in your life. Things like illness, financial struggles, bad relationships, trouble at work, all fall into this category.

Ask yourself, how can I better manage my energy? Where am I feeling bad, sad, stuck or frustrated? What am I saying to myself about that? And, do I really believe that's true? If not, then how can I rephrase that so I feel a little better? And, how can I rephrase that again so I feel even better? Then once you feel pretty good or even great about the thing that was originally making you feel not so good think about what's possible and what action if any you can take. Even if you take no action at all you will still increase your chances of it coming to you or something even better, because your energy is now higher and vibrating at the same frequency of what you want to experience. And, take notice, is what you want really what you want or is it a feeling you're after? Tap into that feeling, catch yourself when you experience it in your daily life and then watch the universe bring that feeling to you - it might not be in the exact form you expect it to be in (red corvette) but it could be something even better.

Please share if you've practiced managing your energy and if so, what you experience as you play with this.

Making Your Ideal Life a Reality

by Brenda Wisniewski on 05/01/13

If you read my last post and imagined what your life might be like if you expressed your highest self, you might be wondering what to do from here. Let's talk about that. I've been told by many people over the years that I wear rose colored glasses.  Many people tell me that it's great to dream, but these dreams are not realistic, at least not right now. This type of thinking is what keeps us from taking the action we need to take in order to realize our lives fully self expressed. This way of looking at life is what I call a limiting belief or a story. It's what you tell yourself about what's possible in life. And, you believe it. You believe it so much that it keeps you from doing what your heart is yearning to do.

Imagine, just for one moment, letting go of this belief. I know this will be hard for some of you. It was for me. For many years, I bought into the belief that I had to work in a certain job in order to make the amount of money I needed in order to have the life I wanted to live. I would tell myself that once I have enough money saved then I'll build my coaching practice and do what I really want to do.

This is what I call the "when X then Y syndrome" that many people fall into. It's a trap. That day never comes or if it does you come up with another when X then Y scenario to strive for. You never end up doing what you want, because you're constantly living in the future waiting for something to happen first before you can be happy. Once I have that job, that pay check, that fancy car, the house, the man or woman of my dreams, the 2 kids and the picket fence then I'll be happy. You sit, waiting and waiting to find yourself at the end of your life wishing you just took a chance and did what you always wanted to do yet never did.

I ask you, what are you waiting for? What is your when X then Y scenario? Go ahead, don't be afraid to explore this - we all do this. It's common for us humans to be dissatisfied with the present, always wanting more, needing more, striving for more. I'm not suggesting that wanting is a bad thing - to want world peace is a beautiful thing. I'm merely asking you to think about what it is you want and why you're striving for it. Often times, when we stop and think about this, we realize we're chasing after things that really don't matter at the end of the day. So, what does matter to you? What matters to your heart? If you put that first and make that your goal what do you have to do differently? Anything? Nothing? Who do you need to be in order to live from this place? In order to express what matters most to you? What action do you need to take? Or perhaps you don't need to take any action at all. 

As you contemplate and reflect on these questions, you are beginning to open the door to the possibility of a new life. One that is fully self expressed. Congratulations, you're on your way.