Are You a Possibility Thinker?

October 12th, 2013, by Shelley Riutta

“If we all did the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves.” Thomas Edison

I have been observing lately that there are two types of people Possibility thinkers and Non-Possibility thinkers. I can typically tell in a matter of minutes what “camp” a person is rooted in.   Then there are two kinds of possibility thinkers—one kind is the one that sees possibilities and then takes action to bring these possibilities into reality.  The other kind just explores possibilities but never takes the risks to actually pursue the possibility.  Which one do you think you are?

Here are some examples of Possibility Thinkers that I have encountered:

  1. One woman who is 62 years old who was talking to me about taking one of my upper level programs to help manifest her big Vision she said “You know Shelley I am going to be around a LONG time and I will always continue to grow”.  Very inspiring.  She reminded me of my Breathwork teacher who in her early 60’s said of the work that she was doing in the world “I am just getting started!”
  2. A friend of mine who years ago was given a 5% chance to live because she had a very advanced stage of cancer.  She was a determined possibility thinker and today—9 years later she is healthy, vibrant woman who is considered not only in remission but “cured”.
  3. I was in the Phoenix, AZ airport and saw a picture of one of the oldest graduates for her undergraduate degree and she was 94 years old! So anytime a client says they are too “old” to do something in their life I give that as an example—stops them in their tracks every timeJ
  4. A friend of mine who had a baby at the age of 42 years old and then her second baby at 46 years old and is traveling around the world with her husband and their two children. She had come to Green Bay, WI for a book tour for her book and brought her youngest child who was a few month old baby at that time!  Wow!  By the way she had set her intention at the start of the year to write a book AND have a baby.
  5. All of my clients who have quit their “secure” jobs and have followed their passions and have a blast and say to me “If I would have known it would be this amazing I would have done it sooner!”

So are you a possibility thinker or not?  Here are some questions to help you determine this:

  1. When someone brings up a new idea I like to explore how the idea might work ­­OR when I come up with an idea I think of all the ways the idea could work_____
  2. When I think of things that I would like to do in my life I think of all the reasons why I can’t_____
  3. I have fun things planned in the future that I am excited about and looking forward to_______
  4. There have been things I have been thinking of doing for years and I have not taken action on them yet_______
  5. I love growing and learning about new things_______
  6. I talk about how many things are going wrong in the world and how things are getting worse____
  7. I surround myself by other possibility thinkers and we inspire each other_______
  8. My friends are  just as stuck as I am and we talk about all the negative things that are going on in our lives______

If you checked off 1, 3, 5 and 7 you are a possibility thinker.  If you checked off 2, 4, 6 or 8 then take a look at how you are unnecessarily holding yourself back in your life. Shift your thinking to Possibility thinking you can change the course of your life TODAY.

Let me know below what new possibilities you will be stepping into 🙂

Money Issues

December 27th, 2012, by Shelley Riutta

Over the years of working with clients I have noticed something about people who have chronic money issues.  These people tend to have a deep addiction to a victim pattern. Now I know that this is a tough pill to swallow if you are struggling with money right now–but it is important to address it at the root cause otherwise the pattern will just continue.   If you struggle with money issues–it is giving you feedback that you have a victim pattern that needs to be addressed.  Even if your money issues are not huge—but you are frustrated in this area of your life—it means you are stuck in a victim pattern.

One of the things to do to shift out of this pattern is to first take 100% responsibility for the status of your financial life.  Let go of blame of others or circumstances and get that you have created this situation. The good news is that once you get that you have created it–you move into empowerment and know that you can create something different as well.  Your financial life is an out-picturing of your thoughts—your thoughts about money and about yourself.  These thoughts determine your actions and these actions will lead to results.  So your money issues no matter how small or big are giving you feedback that your thoughts which lead to your actions are off track.  These thoughts and actions can be so subtle that it can be difficult to get that you are the one creating what you are experiencing.

Let me illustrate this:

Example: Cindy can never get ahead financially.  She always seems to have more bills than money coming in at the end of the month.  This has been going on for as long as she can remember.  As we worked together we discovered that Cindy didn’t really value herself and her deservability around having enough money.  She remembers her single Mom struggling when she was a child and she thought –that was just the way it is for women–they just weren’t meant to have enough money.  Unfortunately Cindy’s Mom didn’t value herself enough to take positive action to bring more money in–she stayed stuck in a painful situation her whole life.  Her Mom was stuck in a victim pattern and didn’t chose to get help to shift out of it.  Cindy was able to see that because of her experiences as a child she felt less than and that she didn’t deserve abundance–and repeated the pattern of her Mother by feeling helpless over changing this.  The first step was for her to acknowledge that she was recreating this situation for herself.

The importance of this is that if you blame outside circumstances–the economy, your job, your boss etc–you are stuck in a victim position and from this place you will never make the needed changes to bring in abundance.  Once Cindy acknowledged that she was the one creating this–she was both relieved and excited.  She knew that if she was the one creating her situation–then she could “uncreate” it and create something different.  We explored what she wanted to create instead and it was that she wanted to make $10,000 more a year and that she wanted a surplus of money at the end of the month so she could save and invest.  The next step was for her to open up to valuing herself and her gifts at a deep level.  She wrote out all of her wonderful intrinsic qualities and also all of her gifts and talents.  She worked on seeing that she deserved ease and abundance in her life–she used that as an affirmation “I deserve ease and abundance in my life”.  She also used the affirmations “I easily bring in $10,000 this year” and “I have a surplus of money at the end of the month that I save and invest.”  The next step was for her to brainstorm ways that she could bring in the extra $10,000 a year—these were her ideas—asking for a raise at work, starting a side business that she had been thinking about, selling some furniture she had in the basement, finding a different job that paid more.  As she brainstormed she felt more and more empowered. She realized that she was capable of bringing in more money–and that she had many different ways of doing that.

The final thing we did- I guided her in an imagery where she opened up to all channels of abundance for herself—that she opened up to money coming to her in magical and unexpected ways–I had her release her beliefs about how money could only come through one channel–her job–and open up to every possible way–and particularly the magical ways.  After a month of working on this issue she came to her session beaming—she had brought in $2000 extra dollars!  This came in a variety of ways–including her Aunt sending her a $500 check out of the blue!  Cindy felt excited, empowered and ecstatic that she had finally stepped out of this stuck pattern that caused her and her Mother so much pain.

Make a decision today to take 100% responsibility for what is happening in your financial life.  Now decide what you would like to create instead and take action to bring this into your life!

Protecting Against Pain

December 25th, 2012, by Shelley Riutta

When you were little, if you experienced pain and your parents were too caught up in their own world to comfort you or they were the ones causing you pain–you developed methods to block the pain. To feel the pain and have no way to process it 0r to have someone comfort you is very overwhelming for a child.  Kids will begin to block painful feelings very early on if they are in this kind of environment.  The part of us that does this is our Wounded Adult Child—meaning a protective part of us that had to intervene and protect against pain.

We all have different methods of protecting against our pain–over thinking, overeating, overworking, being obsessed with being perfect, over-focusing on others, daydreaming, watching TV, or reading etc. The last two I mentioned, watching TV and reading can either be coming from an intention to block pain and avoid—or they can be a healthy form of enjoyment.  For example you can watch a movie to avoid some painful feelings you are having and you want to escape—or you want to have some enjoyment and fun by watching the movie—same activity but different intentions.

As an adult–blocking our pain ends up getting in our way. The methods we use to block pain can get in the way of us feeling deeply connected to ourselves–and our capacity to connect with others.  Our feelings are part of us—and if we are blocking them–we are missing a deep connection with ourselves.

The truth is that you are an adult now and you have the capacity to process your feelings, comfort yourself—or get support and comfort from those around you. You aren’t alone with your pain anymore.  The Wounded Adult Child part of you needs to be reassured of this—these parts of you are locked in the past and feel like what was happening back then is the current environment—they are tirelessly blocking your pain, your feelings because they feel they need to for your survival!  It can take time for these blocking mechanisms to relax and acclimate to what is truly happening.  These protective parts believe that if you feel pain—it will be overwhelming and that you might even die.  Reassure them that you can handle the pain now–you can share with others how you are feeling, you can journal your feelings, you can seek the support of a therapist.

You are now fully capable of feeling and processing your pain—both from the past and pain from the present.

The 4 Stages of Change–Where are you?

December 20th, 2012, by Shelley Riutta

We are always in an evolving cycle of change and ultimately expanding. Sometimes we welcome this change with open arms, sometimes we resist with all of our might.  It can be helpful to know which stage you are in–so you can understand what is going on for you–and work with this process of change rather than against it.  Here are the four stages:

  1. Dissatisfaction or what I call “feeling the gap”. This is when there is a large gap between where you are and where you would like to be.  You might not be completely clear where you want to be. You may just have the clarity that what you are experiencing now is not working for you.  This is an uncomfortable place to be and oftentimes I have clients come to me and label this stage as “depression”.  Try to frame the dissatisfaction as information signaling you to grow rather than labeling it as a permanent position ex. “I will always feel this way–my life never goes the way I want it to.”  How you frame it can change your experience of it.  If you frame it as a signal for growth you will feel empowered—if you focus on it from a state of helplessness you will feel despair.
  2. Exploration-In this stage you feel the dissatisfaction, but you don’t quite know what would feel better to you.  Or you have a sense of what would feel better, but you don’t know how to get there.  This is the stage where you explore options and “try them on” to see how it would feel or you explore options of how to get where you want to go.  It is important to take your time in this phase to truly explore.  People oftentimes feel uncomfortable with the lack of certainty at this point and may try to bypass this by choosing an option to get out of this stage.  Reassure yourself that you will come to an option that feels right to you–just give it time. The other thing to watch in this stage is the opposite—exploring so much that you get confused and stuck in considering options.  Sometimes people fear making a change and hang out in the exploration stage as a safety zone to not take any risks.  Make sure you aren’t doing this either.
  3. Action/Visualization- In this stage you have clarity about where you want to go and you develop a plan to get there. Again you may know where you want to go but are unclear of a plan to get there—and this is something that needs to be  finalized in this stage.  You may have developed somewhat of a plan in the exploration stage–and in this stage you will clarify this plan and begin to implement.  In this stage it is important to get support for you to stay on track with your implementation– without support–fears that surface may sidetrack you and stop you from moving forward.  You can share with a close friend or partner and ask them to be an accountability buddy to you.  The other part of this stage is to spend time visualizing the positive outcome of your desired change.  See it working out in the easiest, magical and fun way.  This vision can help keep you focused when your desired change is in process and not quite complete.  The phrase “keep your eye on the prize” is fitting here.
  4. Stepping into the New- Moving into your change can be a gradual process or it could come more quickly–like meeting your Soulmate within weeks of this process–or your dream job lands in your lap overnight.  Either way there is an adjustment phase to the new change.  There can be feelings of loss from letting go of the old–even though you were dissatisfied -it represented the familiar to you.  With the new changes may come feelings of having a new identity or parts of you being expressed that have never been expressed before.  Typically people feel more aliveness and vitality in this stage.  You can also feel a deep sense of satisfaction that you made a change that was in alignment with your Authentic Self–you feel on path with your life and that you are doing what you came here to do.

What stage are you in?  How are you framing this stage—are you viewing it positively or are you stuck in resisting it?

I would love to hear from you!

Let go of Pain in your body–by Having Fun!

December 18th, 2012, by Shelley Riutta

I had an interesting meeting a while back with a friend of mine who is a chiropractor.  I haven’t seen him in years but whenever we connect we seem to be on parallel tracks.  Today was no different.

He talked of his evolution as a chiropractor and that over the last year he has begun to make the connection to a person’s emotional state and the pain in their body.  He now sees the pain in the physical body as a form of resistance to the natural state of joy of our Essence–our Authentic Self.  The pain gives us feedback that what we are thinking is out of alignment with our true nature.  We initially feel this pain in our emotional body–with feelings of anger, fear, despair, depression etc.  If we stay in these states long enough they begin to manifest in our body as a physical issue.  The more serious the issue–the more chronic the negative emotional state has been.  It still may need to be addressed on the physical level–but if the underlying emotional pattern has not been addressed the physical issue may return.

 So he said that I am in the right field and that people should be talking to me instead of him!  He said that if someone is in a chronic negative state there is nothing he can do for them to help them physically if they are unwilling to change this negative pattern.  Many people are more comfortable going to see a doctor or chiropractor to address a physical issue than to go to see a psychotherapist.  The wounded states of negativity, self-judgement, hopelessness, attempts to control–block the flow of energy in our body. If this continues to happen this blocked energy will begin to manifest in a physical issue.  That is why I say to clients–if they have been in a wounded state and they want to shift—doing something physical–like taking a walk around the block will help discharge the negative energy that is blocking their energy and free it up so they can be in the natural flow of feeling good.

So if you have pain in your physical body—see if you can connect it with a negative emotional pattern that you engage in. Is it reflecting your critical feelings towards someone in your life or an overall negative attitude towards life in general?  Or see if you can track when the physical pain started in your body—did an event cause a strong emotional response that got lodged in the body.  Once you make the connection see if you can give your body permission to release this blocked energy and let it go.  Reassure yourself that you don’t need to hang on to this pain and suffering any more.  Imagine your body being pain free and embrace this as true for you—despite what medical condition you have been diagnosed with.  Know that your Essence is free and clear of any pain and suffering and align yourself with your Essence.

The other step is then to make sure that you maintain a positive emotional state throughout the day.  This is not only your natural state but the most healing state for your body.  Your body is designed to self-heal when it is operating optimally.  The more you lift your energy to the high frequency of your Essence you provide yourself with the most powerful treatment you could ever get for your physical issues!

Love Your Body

December 13th, 2012, by Shelley Riutta

“I Love My Body because it houses my beautiful Spirit.”
Beth, 30

“I Love My Body because it is a work of art that I see as beautiful, and something I know no one else could ever duplicate.”
Francesca, 18

Why do you Love Your Body? Do you love your body because like Beth stated above, it houses your magnificent soul? Do you love your body because it enables you to experience the richness of life with all of your senses? Do you love your body because it allows you to create things, hug others and enjoy the pleasure of movement?

I’m not asking you IF you love your body but WHY you love your body. I want to start the conversation about loving your body with the why, not the if—to get you to shift your thinking in that direction immediately. People, women in particular—perhaps you the reader –have spent far too many precious moments of life criticizing and trying to change your body rather than truly loving and accepting the gift of your body!

The challenge that most women face around loving their body is the cultural conditioning around the ideal body for women. There was a popular ad for “The Body Shop”, the skin and hair care products company, which stated “There are 3 billion women who don’t look like supermodels and only 8 who do.” This ad highlighted that what is promoted as the ideal, normal body for women is actually the normal body for only a very small percentage of women.

Yet, this image is continuously portrayed in advertising, on magazine covers and in the actresses we see in movies and on television. It is a distortion of reality that ends up creating a situation where women feel inadequate and that there is something wrong with their body for not looking like this. It causes women to judge and try to change their body by dieting, plastic surgery and many other ways of trying to get their body to look like the ideal. This cultural conditioning is hurtful and has a very toxic effect on women and girls. It is toxic because instead celebrating and loving their unique shape they are judging it against the promoted ideal.

According to the Social Issues Research Centre, “More than 80% of 4th graders have been on a fad diet.” It is sad to see the pressure that young girls feel to start to mold their bodies into the ideal, rather than using this energy to learn, explore and just be happy and content being themselves. Because of the profound impact of this cultural conditioning it is important for women and girls to become conscious of this programming and to have the courage to step out of the dictates of these unrealistic body expectations. So one of the first and most important guideline to truly Love Your Body is to take back the power to define your own beauty.
Tips to help you Love Your Body:

1. Take the Power back to define your own Beauty– Not only taking it back for the cultural/media definitions but also from people around you in your life who have made judgmental remarks about your body. These people weren’t able to see the beauty of your body because they had absorbed the cultural definitions themselves—and were judging you and probably their own body against these standards as well. Take a moment now to close your eyes and imagine taking back the power to define the beauty of your own body. Take it back from the cultural definitions and the media—in your mind state “I will not allow you to define what my body should look like anymore.”  Think back to people that have made negative comments to you about your body—a family member, a romantic partner or other kids when you were little. Say to them in your mind “I take back the power to define the beauty of my own body—your comments were distortions and untrue—and I no longer give them any power.” Feel how good this feels to clear yourself of all of this negativity and distortion.

2. Clear Your Own Negative Beliefs about Your Body– Because of your exposure to the cultural conditioning about the supposed ideal female body—you probably have practiced self-judgment of your body for not conforming to the promoted “ideal.” These judgments and negative beliefs are again distortions and not based on the truth of the unique beauty of your own body. We all have bodies of different sizes and shapes that are special and truly beautiful.

Let go of your own rigid beliefs about how your body should look and begin to see how the very things that are different about your body are the very things that make you unique and beautiful. Write down the negative messages that you say to yourself about your body. Imagine writing them down to release them from your consciousness. Get them all out—the most negative hurtful ones you can think of. Look at these messages—notice how you would never dream of saying these things to anyone else in your life. Look at all of these messages and apologize to your body saying “I’m so sorry that I said these hurtful things to you—I promise that I will not say these things to you again and I will start loving you instead.” Look at these messages again and with an intention to fully release them—tear up the sheet of paper and throw it away.Some people like to build a fire outside and burn the paper as a way of releasing this negativity.

3. Exercise for the Joy of Feeling Your Body Move- When you exercise to eliminate fat from your body and/or to compensate for calories eaten—this can come from a place of fear and have an energy of trying to control and fight against your body. Imagine exercising for the joy of moving your body and from an intention to be loving to your body—a desire for it to be healthy and have more energy. The clients I work with around this issue tend to be able to maintain an exercise program if they do it from a place of joy and self-love rather than control and fear about their weight. Notice if there are things in your life that you don’t do for fear of people seeing your body—like swimming, dancing or any other activity. Remind yourself that you deserve to do the things you enjoy no matter what your shape. Let go of what others think of you and stay focused on the fact that you have every right to do the things you enjoy.

4. Remind Yourself What the Purpose of Having a Body Is-Your body is yours to fully experience life, to take it in and enjoy it. Your body is a vehicle for you to experience life with all of your senses. Your body allows you: to feel a warm breeze on your skin, feel the cool water in a lake when you swim, see all of the vivid colors of a sunset, hear all of the beauty of music, to hear the sounds of birds and trees moving in the wind, feel the softness of someone’s hand, feel the joy of dancing, taste and enjoy delicious food, express yourself through a smile, tears or laughter. Your body is for you, not for others to critique or judge. You are not here as a display for others, but as a fully embodied human being with deeper, richer qualities than just your appearance.

5. When You Look in The Mirror—Look at Yourself Through Loving Eyes- For many women looking in the mirror turns into an exercise of self-judgment. They zero in on all of their perceived flaws and what they feel is “wrong” with their body or face. Again the criteria they are judging themselves against is this unrealistic ideal that is promoted in the media. I have many clients who when they first started working with me said that they couldn’t look in the mirror because all they saw were these perceived flaws. I suggest that they shift this by instead looking at themselves in the mirror through loving eyes. An example would be if you look in the mirror and see a wrinkle that you would ordinarily judge—look at this wrinkle with love and compassion—and even see the beauty of this wrinkle. Set a clear intention to see yourself through the lens of love—interrupt the self judgment and move into being very loving with yourself. This will be something that you need to practice before it becomes a habit—but it will be well worth the effort because you will begin to feel really wonderful about yourself.

6. Have Your Self-Esteem be Internally Referenced– Have your self-esteem be based on your internal qualities rather than your external appearance. What are the qualities that make you—you? Is it your compassion, your unique creativity, your intelligence, your capacity to have fun, your wisdom, your perceptiveness, your capacity to listen to people or your loving heart? Think of the people that you love in your life. You love them for who they are—the unique Spirit that they are—not for what they look like. That is how they feel about you—they love you for who you are and all of the special qualities that make up you. Learn to value yourself for the substance of you—not for the physical form that you travel around in.

7. Explore the deeper reason for the preoccupation with your appearance/weight. Sometimes when someone is preoccupied with their appearance it may be an avoidance mechanism for deeper, more painful feelings. Check in with yourself and see if this might be the case. If in your childhood things were painful for you and out of control, you may have learned to focus on your weight as a way to avoid the loneliness and helplessness of what was happening around you. Or maybe there is a painful issue in your life today that you don’t have the courage to face—like a challenging relationship or lack of purpose in your life. A preoccupation with your appearance distracts you from facing these issues. If this is the case for you, it is important for you to get support for yourself to open up to face these feelings directly. You can get this support through taking the risk to reveal your feelings to a trusted friend or working with a counselor who can help you work through these feelings.

8.Eliminate Comparing Yourself to Others-The energy of comparison and competition is hurtful to yourself and the other person. Doing this is just another form of putting yourself down and will not help you to feel good but will make you feel even worse. Vow to not participate in this kind of energy. Instead if you see someone who is attractive—instead of comparing yourself to this person or judging them—state instead—“She is attractive and so am I.” Celebrate that other person and yourself too. You will find this feels so much better than comparing yourself to them or being critical.

9. Take One of the Areas of Your Body You Typically Judge and Take a Week to Fully Love This Part of You– Spend 15 minutes a day looking at this part of your body and find things to love about it, better yet, do it throughout the day. The more challenging it is to do this, the more you need to do it! I read in a book about a woman who did this exercise and after a week of doing it a stranger came up to her and told her how beautiful this part of her body was! When we transform our own way of seeing ourselves—it transforms the way others see us as well. You want your first intention of doing this exercise to be the shift in your own self-love, not to have the effect on how others view you. How you view you is always going to be what is most important.

10. Decide That You Are Beautiful and Practice Being Beautiful- You get to decide if you are beautiful or not. If like I stated above you have taken your power back to define your own self than why don’t you claim your own beauty! Take a day and repeat to yourself “I am Beautiful”. Do things that make you feel beautiful—wear something special—that you love and feel great in. Walk like you are beautiful. Look in the mirror and say “I am beautiful.” This may feel awkward at first but continue to do this until you really start to believe it.

Celebrate who you are and your beautiful, unique body. We need women who are seeing and celebrating their own beauty—it helps other women who are stuck in negativity about their body see that there is another more joyful path to take—the path of true self-love!

Are You Trying to Go It Alone?

December 11th, 2012, by Shelley Riutta

“We need each other to Fly!”

 

“I can do it on my own”.  Is that a phrase that runs through your mind? This very phrase can be keeping you very stuck in your life.

 

When we are attempting to make positive changes in our life–desiring to move into our full potential–we can get stuck in thinking that we can do this all on our own.  And then we get frustrated because we can’t make these changes and start to beat ourselves up.

 

The reality is that to make changes in our life–the kinds of changes that will really make a difference–we need support—and lots of it.  The reason for this is our Conditioned Self–our false beliefs, fears, old programming is very strong and oftentimes very invisible to us.  That is why it is so easy to get stuck.

 

We need healthy support around us–people that are capable of pointing out to us—“Are you aware that you are doing this—that you are getting in your own way?”  Someone flashing the light on what we cannot see because we are too close to it.

 

One of the reasons that I love what I do so much is that I get to do this for my clients every day. After years of working with clients I am able to see very quickly what is getting in their way, what is keeping them stuck–and I am able to share this with them so they can start to quickly move forward again.

 

The other key thing that support can do for us is see the Grand Possibilities of who we are and what is possible in our life. Our Conditioned Self has a very limited perception of who we really are and what is truly possible for us.

 

I am able to see clients clearly and see the larger possibility for their lives. I am able to offer them “believing eyes” to help them move into their own Self-Belief–and to see their true potential.

 

I recommend on-going support for clients in one form or another—either individual work,  or in a group, or by attending a Workshop. The most successful clients I have are the ones that get the most support.  They innately know they need it and they love themselves enough to make sure they are getting enough of it.
So love yourself enough to get the support you need to really move forward in your life–you absolutely deserve it!

Opening Your Heart to Love

December 4th, 2012, by Shelley Riutta

“Whatever the Question, Love is the Answer.”   Wayne Dyer

“There is only one happiness in life—to love and be loved.”  George Sand

 

One of the greatest experiences we can have in life is the sharing of love.  Yet, for many of us—we only have fleeting glimpses of this.  Our culture prioritizes other things ahead of love like; making money, working on the computer, watching sports, shopping etc.  Think about your own life- do you put sharing love with others at the top of your list?

One of the Mentors in my life was an 89 year old man named Reuben.  He was such a teacher to me about making love a priority in one’s life.  He was constantly sharing love with those around him—and what was wonderful is you could actually feel it emanating from him.  He magnetized people to him because it felt so good being in this field of love that surrounded him.

I remember one time we were visiting a mutual friend and Reuben looked at our friend and said “There is nothing in the world more important than love—Nothing!”  Our friend had a startled look on his face because of the level of intensity in which Reuben said this to him.  Reuben meant what he said to our friend with every cell of his body.  He believed in love and lived it every day.  He jarred people out of the fog of being caught up in the less important things of life as a substitute for the most important thing—Love.

The time I spent with him was so valuable to me.  I remember thinking to myself when I was with him—“Pay attention and learn as much as you can from this man.”  I am still learning from him today when I reflect on the wisdom he shared with me.  I remember one time we were eating breakfast and he said to me “Honey, I’m not sure what happened to you when you were younger—but whatever it was let it go and open your heart.  Let your love out—it will help you, it will help your friend and clients.”  The power of those words still echo in my mind today—“Let it go and open your heart.”

At Reuben’s funeral I learned something that made me really get that he didn’t just say these words but he had lived them as well.  I learned that he had Post-Traumatic Stress from his experience in WW II.  His family shared with me that over the years he would wake up screaming from nightmares from his experiences in the war.  He could have allowed those horrible experiences to close his heart—but instead he let it go and kept his heart open.

When we let the love in our heart flow it is healing to us and those around us.  This flow of love is a natural state for us—but so many of us walk around with our hearts closed that it starts to feel normal!  I remember a client of mine years ago who struggled with anxiety, low level depression and difficulty sleeping.  We worked on him opening his heart more in his life.

Within a week of doing this his life literally transformed.  His anxiety and depression lifted—he was able to sleep at night.  He felt a peace that he had never felt before. He also had more energy—which is a result of having an open heart.   He had complained originally of feeling isolated from other people and very lonely.  As he kept the focus on sharing love and keeping his heart open in all of his relationships improved dramatically.

Over the months that we worked together as soon as he reverted back to his old pattern of closing his heart—his anxiety and depression would return.  His relationships would also start to suffer.  It became clear to him that his life worked so much better— was more joyful and fulfilling when his heart was open.

Tips to Open Your Heart

1.     Make a Conscious Choice to Open Your Heart to Love- Decide today that sharing love will be a priority for you.  You can share your love and kindness with everyone you have contact with during your day.  What does sharing love look like, you might ask?  Here are some examples: 

  • Sharing appreciation for someone.  Appreciate a quality they have—their kindness, compassion, integrity, creativity—you could say “I really love how kind you are”.  Or appreciate how they did something—“I love the way you handled that situation.”  “I love that you are such a good listener.” You can share appreciation that they are in your life “I am so grateful that you are in my life.” There are hundreds of things you could say throughout the day to show appreciation for the people in your life.

 

2.  Let Go of Past Hurts and Open Up to Love- Most people have experienced hurt in the past and in response to that have closed their hearts. They fear opening their hearts and getting hurt again.  What ends up happening is their closed heart ends up causing a problem for them in their lives.  When their hearts are closed they will feel lonely and isolated from other people.   They miss out on the closeness that they can share when their heart is closed.  They feel their current unhappiness is related to the past hurts- when in reality it is being caused by their heart currently being closed.

The reality of the open heart is that you will hurt sometimes when your heart is open—but that is OK—you will survive.  All of the love that you will experience will more than make up for the periods of pain you might have when your heart is open.  The people in my life who have had open hearts have had rich lives filled with love—and they also had times of deep pain when they lost someone they really loved.  Reuben was married to his Soulmate, Joyce, for over 50 years and he missed her tremendously when she died.  His grief and pain reflected the depth of love that they shared.  He still remained open to love despite the pain of this loss.

 

3. When You are Looking at Someone Look at them Through the Eyes of Love– There is so much beauty in each and every person.  I remember years ago I was at training and there was a man at the training who was irritating me.  I can’t remember now what he was doing that was bothering me.    I initially didn’t want to be by him at all and then I decided to spend some time with him and look at him through the eyes of love.

The next time we spoke—instead of listening to what he was saying I looked underneath his protective behavior to the Essence of who he was and what I saw blew me away.  He was so beautiful and loving in his Essence!  I was awestruck by the fact that what I was seeing in him was what I would find in everyone I met.  I thought to myself “I could do this with everybody at this training—there is so much love to share!”  So today—look underneath others protective behavior and really see who they are.

 

4.     Focus on Giving Love—not Getting Love- When you are with others are you trying to get their love or approval—or are you focused on sharing love with them?  When you are trying to get love you are coming from a place of neediness and putting expectations on others to give to you.  The other person won’t feel loved by you, but instead will feel pulled on by you.  If you instead realize that all the love that you could ever need is already in your own heart and all around you—you won’t feel the need to try to get it from others.  So by opening your heart and sharing it with others you will then feel the love that is within you.  You will actually feel it more as you share it. 

 

5.     View Relationships as an Opportunity to Learn How to Love Unconditionally- When you are feeling challenged in a relationship it is an opportunity to learn to unconditionally love yourself and the other person more.  When you are focused on learning about love you will be in your Authentic Self—and things will go fairly smooth.  When you are trying to control the other person to be different or trying to control the outcome you are in your Conditioned Self and things will be very difficult.  When you are learning about love you ask “How can I learn and grow in this situation—what is my learning” vs. when you are in your Conditioned Self you have your eyes on the other person and you blame them for your discomfort.

 

6. Remember Why You are Here– I have done a lot of research about people who have had near death experiences.  The thing that I read over and over again is that when people were reviewing their lives (after they died) the question they were asked was “How well did you love?” – not how much money you made or how well you did on that work project—it was all about Love.  I think one of our challenges as we journey through our lives is to keep our eyes on what is most important—Love—as other things pull for our attention and try to convince us that they are so “important.”

It can take some time to reconnect with your open heart when it has been closed for a period of time.  Be patient with yourself and begin to practice slowly opening your heart with others.  Remember that as a child your heart was naturally open—it is how you are meant to be in the world—your heart wide open sharing your love with others.  I wish you joy and happiness as you let that beautiful light of your heart shine!

The Power of Positive Rituals

November 29th, 2012, by Shelley Riutta

We live in a fast paced, hectic world where it is very easy to lose sight of each other and the special bonds we have.  The power of positive, mindful rituals can strengthen our connections with each other and provide on-going ways to stay connected.
I just returned from my annual Sister’s weekend–where I get together with my two sisters.  It is something I look forward to every summer and it is a guaranteed time that we have together to have fun and deepen the connection we have. 
There is something about an extended visit that allows for deeper sharing than typically happens on short visits.  There are things that I find out about my sisters only during these Sister’s weekends—even though we are close and talk a lot during the rest of the year.
We spent time trying to figure out how many years we have been doing our Sisters Weekend ritual.  We had fun remembering the goofy times we had and even talked about some hurts that had never been revealed before.  When I reflected on the power of this annual ritual I began to think of all of the other opportunities to create positive rituals in our lives. 
Here are some examples of positive rituals that you can create in your life to strengthen your relationships:
 1. Hug and kiss your honey mindfully when you part from each other during the day.  Be present and feel your love from them as you kiss.
2. Create a weekly date night or family night where you do something special together.  You can take turns planning this.
3. Follow rituals you enjoyed from your own family and create new ones that are unique to you and your family
4.Think of silly rituals–celebrate an obscure Holiday or an event every year.  I have friends who have a Mardi Gras party every year–which is a fun celebration in the winter in Wisconsin
5. Celebrate anniversarys that are important to you.  The day you met your sweetie, the day you stopped drinking.  Think of days you want to honor every year and create a ritual to honor it.
6. Release rituals that no longer have meaning for you that you continue because of expectations from other people.  This frees you up to create rituals that have true meaning for you and those you love.
7. Create a ritual of fun on one day on the weekend.  It could be afternoons on Sunday are only for doing fun things.
8. Create fun rituals in your neighborhood.  I have a neighbors who have a yearly Winter Solstice party that brings the whole neighborhood together to have fun and celebrate.
Be creative and think of meaningful or fun ways to celebrate the connection you have with those you love. 
I would love to hear about any rituals that you already celebrate in your life. Please post below:)

What is The Overeating About?

November 27th, 2012, by Shelley Riutta

Carol was in her 40’s and struggled with her weight since she was a child.  She binged on sweets and couldn’t seem to control herself.  She called me for some phone sessions to address this issue.  In the first session it became clear what the inner dynamic was that was fueling her desire for the sweets.

Carol was very hard on herself and put pressure on herself to be perfect all of the time.  She felt if she was perfect she would then be loveable and acceptable to the people around her.  This was a reflection of the way her Mom treated her.  When she was young her Mom didn’t see her clearly-and put pressure on her to be perfect–the message was “If you are perfect, then I will love you and accept you.”  Because of the pain of not being loved unconditionally for who she really was and the pressure from her Mom to be perfect- she began to use sweets as a child to comfort herself.

This pattern continued into adulthood and was confusing for Carol because her Mom was no longer in her life and she was surrounded by people who truly did love her unconditionally.  Carol was able to realize that she had a conditioned part of her that was just like her Mom-putting pressure on her to be perfect and not seeing her own intrinsic worth and loveability just as she was.  This pressure was creating a lot of anxiety within her and to cope with it she overate the sweets to comfort herself.

Once she recognized this she was able to shift into being more loving and supportive with herself-much like she was able to be with her own children.  She gave herself messages like “It’s OK to be you, you are loveable just the way you are.”  “It’s OK not to be perfect-just relax and be yourself-you are enough just as you are.” As she gave herself these new messages she felt herself relax for the first time in years and stopped having the intense craving for sweets.  She was able to understand this and heal this long-standing issue in only two sessions!

What I love about looking at the inner dialogue is that it helps to gain insight and clarity into the inner dynamic that is fueling our feelings and behavior.  This clarity is about 70% of the healing.  This morning as I worked with a client and we developed clarity about a long-standing pattern of hers–the feeling or incredible relief in the room was palpable.  Now with awareness of the inner dynamic she had a clear path for healing and shifting the dynamic that was causing her so much pain.

Notice a long standing patterns of yours.  What do you think you are saying to yourself on the inner level that is fueling this pattern–can you track the sequence of it.  Example:  I say this to myself–my reaction is this (ex. anxiety)-to deal with this reaction I then do this.

We are talking to ourselves all of the time–having inner dialogues that are either loving and supportive–or critical and hurtful.  This type of inner reflection helps to bring these dialogues to conscious awareness so that you can make decisions to shift these dialogues to being more supportive to you.

Hi, I'm Shelley Riutta MSE, LPC a Holistic Psychotherapist in private practice. I specialize in helping people connect with their Authentic selves--and from this create a life that is in alignment with their Life Purpose and filled with Joy. I offer transformational individual counseling, presentations, groups and Workshops. You can get my Free Workbook "What Do You REALLY Want: Finding Purpose and Passion in Your Life" here or contact me at 877-346-1167.
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