how negative thoughts can help you achieve your goals

how negative thoughts can help you achieve your goals

I woke earlier this week in the middle of a beautiful forest, surrounded by birds with rich indigo feathers chirping their hellos and crisp, clean water flowing in the creek nearby.

I had just arrived on a short camping getaway with my family, taking our son out of school for a couple of days to get unplugged while his daddy had time home between work trips.

We had spent the evening prior sitting in our camp chairs around a crackling fire, roasting hot dogs and marshmallows to indulge in ooey gooey s’mores.

If you’re still with me so far, you’re probably thinking “what a perfect trip.”

But of course, it wasn’t perfect…we realized upon arriving that we forgot to change the batteries in our flashlight, so we had to rely on backup lanterns to get us around after dark. 

Of course, there was also the less than stellar sleep one experiences on the ground and the unnatural positions your back and neck find themselves in over the course of the night.

But the biggest obstacle came when my phone began displaying all the urgent missed texts and calls during our drive through town on the way to a hike, unnoticed prior as the campsite was blissfully free of cell phone reception. As the medical proxy for my dad, I had to step out of vacay mode and into high gear to coordinate with his care team and ensure everyone had the information they needed to get him through a mini-crisis.

And despite all of the above, I am so glad we went, the experience simply reminding me that this is LIFE with all of its imperfections.

When we’re in the thick of things, it’s natural for our negative thoughts to take over, but as healthy as I believe they are (and they are helpful – more on that below!), it is important that we don’t get too carried away with them.

Here is a simple process that you can use in those moments when you find yourself getting fixated on the negative thoughts around all that’s “going wrong:” 

  • Take a pause and get anchored to the present with a few deep breaths.
  • Ask yourself “What is working, even in some small way?” It might seem like nothing is working…but stay with it. Something always is. Even if it is simply the fact that you are still breathing.
  • Keep tapping into that creative and connected part of your mind that sees beyond the frustrations and disappointments in front of you, then visualize energy flowing into all that is working to amplify it in your mind. Breathe.
  • With the energy shifted, you can once again bring awareness to what wasn’t working and ask yourself “How can I accept this too and allow it to be a part of the whole?”

As you play with this practice, another perspective to weave in is the reality that it’s healthy to create expectations that include some of our fears and negative thoughts.

What I mean by this is that no opportunity, no relationship, no journey is without its messy parts, so rather than beat ourselves up for noticing the perceived flaws, we can bring gentleness to our minds, and let these moments either pass through or become useful fuel rather than zapping the energy out of our plans.

A recent episode of the podcast “The Happiness Lab” with Dr. Laurie Santos called “Don’t Accentuate the Positive” dives into this research, along with a few great processes where you can apply the power of negative thoughts.

When you learn to work with your negative thoughts and inner obstacles, you can use that energy that is freed up to create a vision that feels more aligned and rooted in reality, rather than idealized and perfect.

I would love to hear from you:

“What feels imperfect in your life right now? How can you shift your expectations to include these imperfections and bring more energy to what’s working for a fuller vision of what lights you up?”

how to protect your energy for healthier relationships

how to protect your energy for healthier relationships

As I work with my clients to nurture their relationships with themselves (especially that wise inner voice that is yearning to be heard!), I believe it’s essential that I’m nurturing this relationship myself in order to be in integrity with this work.

The true aim of inner work of course is putting it into practice in our outer world, and what better way to do so than by extending the same curiosity, understanding, and loving boundaries to the other relationships in our lives.

Perhaps the intense challenges of this past year have helped you strengthen those relationships in your life, or perhaps they’ve been put to the test more than ever before.

Whatever has been true for you, I want to share a process with you today that will help you navigate the energy of your relationships by tapping into the power of your unconscious through visualization and symbolic imagery.

Here’s how it works (read on or watch the video below to learn this super simple technique):

Before you engage in any kind of connection that you know can be potentially triggering, take a quick moment to close your eyes and visualize that there is a zipper right there between your feet.

Imagine zipping up your energy, all the way up in front of you to the crown of your head, creating a boundary between your energy and the outer world.

If anything starts to come toward this boundary that isn’t helpful, picture it lovingly bouncing away…this is a very gentle and compassionate way of being with not only your own energy but other people’s stuff too (and on this journey, we’ve ALL got our “stuff”).

I would love to hear from you (no really, email me!):

As you practice this process, tell me what you notice shifting with your energy as you interact with the people around you.

The more you practice this, the more easily you will access the energy that is yours and begin releasing all that energy that isn’t…and with all of that energy freed up, just imagine what’s possible :).

what to do when you feel like you’re not doing enough

what to do when you feel like you’re not doing enough

little girl and little boy running barefoot in grass

As I’m writing this, it’s the day before our son Miles’ 5th birthday, which is a day I remember not only as his entry into the world but also as my initiation into motherhood.

I don’t often share this, but I wasn’t one of those little girls who played with baby dolls as I dreamt of becoming a mother.

I was more prone to playing entrepreneur (charging my cousin to eat at our house at my “Pig Out” Cafe), trying my hand at activism (starting my own chapter of Kids for Saving Earth when I was still in elementary school), and making plans to own my own home with a lush backyard full of trees (growing up surrounded by nature in Oklahoma set the stage for this one).

So when I met the man who would later become my husband, a family man through and through, I thought that I had to choose between continuing down the path I had envisioned when I was little OR choose this new path, with diapers and parenting classes and room parent responsibilities as my sole focus.

What I didn’t realize at the time was that there was another path; one that allowed for the diapers AND my clients, the parenting classes AND speaking out for the causes that are important to me, the responsibilities to schools AND taking care of our home.

Full transparency: making this choice to create space for the both/and in my life isn’t always an easy one, and I have had more moments than I care to admit when I feel like I’m not doing any of it well, for my family OR for my career.

But if there’s one thing I’ve learned from juggling these responsibilities in my life (and from guiding many of my clients to do the same), it’s that beating myself up has never helped things; it only serves to keep us stuck and frankly, pretty miserable.

When our minds get fixated on all that we haven’t accomplished, how we’re handling things wrong, or what isn’t working in our lives, we quite literally don’t have the headspace for the magic that is always there.

On the other hand, when we stop to slow down and become a little more gentle with ourselves, we bring in an expansiveness to our energy that creates space to not only soothe our weary souls, but that also invites in creative solutions we might not have seen before.

Have you paid attention to the energy that was under the choices and actions you’ve taken in your life lately?

If not, I invite you to take a little time to do that today; soften your mind and bring a little more gentleness to your experience and notice how it shifts the choices you make for yourself and toward creating change in this world.

You are not alone…there is always love waiting for you in the stillness.

Believing in the power of you,

Sabrina

P.S.

In case you missed it, or if you’ve made the conscious choice to step back from social media (a choice I support 100%, by the way!), I led a quick 4 minute guided HypnoReiki meditation in this week’s IGTV; you can watch it here, no Instagram account needed:

Click here for a 4 minute shot of HypnoReiki to soothe your mind and body

P.P.S.

This inspiring talk by Elizabeth Gilbert on Facing Fear with Compassion couldn’t be more timely and was a salve for my soul; listen to it by clicking here.

When you want to distract yourself from your pain, try this instead

When you want to distract yourself from your pain, try this instead

Surrender

When life comes at us hard, we often feel like we have 2 choices: face it head on or check completely out, succumbing to distraction to avoid the pain.

What if there were a middle ground?

What if we could slow time enough so that we can process the pain with a little more gentleness, a little more compassion?

This middle road is the one less traveled; I would say that the vast majority of us opt to distract (myself included!), usually as an unconscious “protection” based on the belief that we can’t handle the intensity of the world as it appears to be.

To clarify, I don’t believe distracting is the same as consciously taking breaks from immersing yourself in the heaviness of it all.

I believe checking out from the news, the media, or even the experiences of your friends and community is important to manage your own energy.

And I also believe that an hour or two of Netflix, a podcast on a topic you love, or immersing yourself in a book are all ways that you can still take a break without fully giving in to the ego’s desire to distract and numb.

The distraction I’m referring to is the one that bypasses your feelings so that you’re either so immersed in the energy of the collective that you aren’t sure how you really feel or you’re so checked out from your own energy that you don’t recognize your pain until it starts seeping through in not-so-helpful ways.

If you have found yourself choosing distraction, I invite you to set your phone to Do Not Disturb, shut your door, and give yourself 5 minutes to touch the pain inside while recognizing your amazing innate ability to “be with what is” no matter how quickly the world is changing around you:  

I would love to hear from you:

What feels real for you now? Is there fear or pain that you’ve been avoiding, simmering under the surface? How can you recognize the impermanence of even that feeling, no matter how deep or intense it might be?

You are so much stronger than you might realize…trust yourself, and when that fails, trust the Universe is still here to support you through it all.

Sending big love as we navigate this together,

Sabrina

P.S.

If you need deeper support to move through heavy emotions so that you can tap into your inner resilience, I invite you to book a “Get Calm” mini session with me today. Details can be found at http://sabrinabolin.com/getcalm.

How to Avoid the Happiness Trap and the Negativity Bias

How to Avoid the Happiness Trap and the Negativity Bias

Everything is Going to Be Alright Or Is It

I believe there is a shadow side to personal growth: it’s our addiction to happiness (or peace or wellbeing or…well, you name it).

In fact, when we embark upon a healing journey, we often create an unspoken expectation that everything will be on the “up and up” from here on out.

But to be human is to acknowledge both the joys and the pains of life, the light and the dark.

And that means, sometimes, we break down and cry (yep, just today).

We rage (ah yes, today as well).

We might even hurt the people we love (unfortunately that was also part of my day).

However, if we are truly being present, we don’t remain there; everything is impermanent.

Our consciousness gives us the opportunity to cycle back to our higher truth, even after honoring the not-so-pretty parts of ourselves.

On the flipside, our brains are wired to seek out danger; we have a negativity bias in place that makes it more challenging to see the good once we get into that dark place.

So how can we embrace both the joys and challenges of our day to day lives, without falling into the trap of becoming addicted to one or the other?

Click play on the video below for one simple process to honor the joys and challenges (without falling into the happiness trap or negativity bias):

I would love to hear from you:

Where is your deep need for “everything to be alright” keeping you from honoring the fullness of your life experience?

More importantly, where can you bring compassion to your experience to fully accept those moments so that the energy can move through you instead of get stuck in you?

Once you begin to consistently honor all the ways energy wants to move through you, you’ll feel more clear to hear that inner wisdom in all of its voices.

With love to support you through the ups AND downs,

Sabrina

P.S.

Curious about hypnosis? Go behind the scenes with my process as I guide Stas of Think Clever through a short trance during our podcast interview – click here to listen!

P.P.S.

Today’s message was a sneak peek of episode 6 of my weekly IGTV show “Soul Aligned w/Sabrina.” If it resonated, I invite you to click the below to join me on Instagram and get notified as soon as each new episode goes live in my feed:

@thesabrinabolin

How to release guilt (and other stuck emotions!)

How to release guilt (and other stuck emotions!)

Sabrina Bolin and Dad spending a moment together

Guilt…ooo boy, it’s a doozy.

Merriam-Webster lists a few definitions for it, but the one I’m talking about is this:

feelings of deserving blame especially for imagined offenses or from a sense of inadequacy

As a mother to a nearly 4 year old child and caretaker to a nearly 80 year old father, I know guilt all too well; it’s that nagging feeling that I should be to blame for not being and doing enough.

However I believe that guilt in and of itself, like all emotions, isn’t bad per se; it serves a purpose by pointing to where I need to look a little more closely at how I’m internally processing messages from the millions bits of information that my unconscious has absorbed over time.

Recognizing that emotions are simply signaling us to notice something deeper about our experience is the key to understanding how to navigate this oft-messy life. ?

That being said, sometimes ego doesn’t want to let go, even after that lesson is learned, so that energy gets stuck, attaching itself to an old story or pattern on repeat.

In today’s video, I take you through a process that will help you release guilt and get unstuck from any unhelpful emotion that you no longer need.

Ready to shift your energy? Click play to learn how to release those stuck emotions in your life:

After playing along, I would love to hear from you! What message did your unconscious share to help you integrate and release the stuck emotions you’ve been carrying?

As always, with love,

Sabrina


Deprecated: Directive 'allow_url_include' is deprecated in Unknown on line 0