HOW TO HAVE MORE PEACE IN THE NEXT 24 HOURS

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If you clicked to read this, you may be expecting some big revelation, but how to have more peace is so obvious, you’ll wonder why you bothered to read this far…

When you wake up in the morning, DON’T LOOK AT, OR TURN ON, YOUR PHONE, and DON’T CHECK EMAIL OR SOCIAL MEDIA until you’ve had at least 10 minutes of quiet time to yourself.

If you want to have even more peace, don’t go on your phone or social media for 30 minutes, an hour, or even 2 hours. Sound crazy? Impossible? It’s not.

“But… but…” you might be saying, “Steven Spielberg might need to reach me,” or “My kids need me,” or “I need to check how my stocks are doing,” or “My church people need me.”

You know who needs you? You. You need you to be present in order to handle all those calls and emails and interactions when you get to them… later.

Listen. No, not to me. Just be still and listen. Once you get quiet enough, you’ll start to hear and see in a way you weren’t able to when you were allowing yourself to be bombarded with messages and information and demands.

In the quiet, you may hear a still, small voice. I believe it’s God. If you don’t, I’m not going to try to convince you.

Things that you couldn’t make sense of will start to become clear in the stillness. Answers you were trying to figure out will start to crystallize.

Or you will feel yourself breathe again. You will remember that you are a living, breathing human being, that there are people in your life that you love. You may start to feel grateful to be alive.

It might not be easy at first. Phones and the internet are, after all, an addiction. Your brain will try to tell you that you need to check. Just one message. And then another… and another. But don’t take the bait. It’s trying to steal your peace.

Unless you’re waiting on a life or death phone call, it can wait. It’s hard to think of anything that isn’t helped by being still and having space to just be.

For some this is prayer time. For some it is meditation. For some, it’s just sitting still and doing nothing but being. And for some, like me, it’s all three.

Personally, I need way more than 10 minutes of quiet time every day. I’m talking hours.

Whatever you need to do to take this time, take it. You may need to wrestle it back from people, or situations you’ve allowed to steal it. Find a way to carve it out and take it back.

If 10 minutes sounds insane in light of the things you’re dealing with, then start with 5. If 5 sounds like too much, start with 4, 3, 2, or 1. And if one minute sounds impossible, you may need to take a whole day off.

If stillness terrifies you, or not being connected via phone or internet makes you feel like you no longer exist, you may need to explore this more deeply to find out what the root of that fear is.

But if you want peace in the next 24 hours, then try it. Wake up and do the first part of your morning as if phones and the internet didn’t even exist.

You may notice the birds singing again for the first time since childhood. You may hear the wind rustle through the leaves in the chestnut trees. You may notice all sorts of things you had stopped noticing because your face was buried in your electronics like…

  • the color of a loved one’s eyes
  • the taste of your coffee, tea, or food
  • the way water feels running over your hands in the morning
  • the sunlight gleaming through the window
  • the way it feels when you brush or comb your hair
  • the breath in your lungs

If you keep it up, you may start to experience wonder again and you’ll ask yourself how you ever got so far away from it.

Remember that stillness is a gift you give yourself. Try it and let me know what it was like for you.

Wishing you peace,

Monique

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http://www.artoflifecoachmonique.com

 

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Ever Wished You Could Go to Middle Earth?

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Well, you can… sort of.

Hey friends…

Just wanted to share something with you that will give you a unique way to practice self-care, to take a respite from the noisy world of “things to do” and allow you to escape, relax and just go, “Ahhhh,” for a little while.

Some years ago, I came across these amazing guided Middle Earth meditations and have been using them on and off ever since. If you love to use your imagination and you’re a lover of all things Lord of the Rings, then I hope you’ll enjoy these meditations (SEE BELOW) by two English gentlemen who create these fantastic relaxation videos.

All you have to do is give yourself 15-20 minutes, lean back, or lie down, close your eyes, maybe put some earphones in, and allow yourself to enter a mythical, mystical world where you see and hear with your mind places you’ve possibly wished you could travel to.

My personal favorite is The Green Elven Wood (of course!) and Shelter in the Hobbit Shire. Let me know which ones you like.  Enjoy!

Maybe they will even inspire your own creativity. Hope so!  😉

Blessings & creative juice…

Monique
Artist & Coach
http://www.artoflifecoachmonique.com/ 

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Let’s have a conversation. You can click this link to schedule an introductory call with me and we can explore where you are feeling stuck and how to help you move forward. No charge. Just please follow through if you book. 

CAKE (a poem)

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There was a movie called Flashdance
(stick with me).
The main character said,
“I’m not a dancer like that.”
She wasn’t trained, didn’t have degrees
on the wall (hung mostly to impress).
She could just…dance. No one knew how.
No one saw her sweating it out in her living room,
practicing behind closed doors,
away from human eyes.
She was also one of “those” dancers—
the ones that don’t call themselves strippers
since they’re still wearing a string of cloth;
she had bills to pay, and besides, it was the one place
she could shake without judgment.

Like her,
I am not a writer “like that.”
I just…write.
I don’t have a scroll of accolades
trailing behind me like a wedding gown.
I’m not hip to who is currently the “best” in the country,
nor do I have a clue about the New York Times Book Review,
perhaps because so much of what moves me
isn’t making it to the bestseller lists
(you’d need to buy your own copies for that)…
obscure mystics like Evelyn Underhill,
and whisperings from the past by Blake and Rilke,
Dickens and George MacDonald—
people who wrote in blood and parchment, ink and blotter.

So I took “stripper” jobs (there were bills to pay).
Or what felt like their equivalent to someone
who writes for the love of writing, the written word,
and the power it has to bring light—
like music, like film, when it’s done well.

And I wonder: if artists were paid for
sheer love of what they do—
for the doing of it with heart’s blood—
not for applause,
not for kudos and thumbs-up,
not for being deemed part of the new trend,
how many would be rich, and how many poor?

There are the rare ones who hit the jackpot
without selling their souls—
those who stay true to their core
regardless of others’ jealousies, despisings, and misunderstandings,
unmoved by the questioning expectations left and right,
(nevermind words like “marketable”),
the C. S. Lewises, the Woody Allens.
But many are pushed aside by the loudmouths,
the narcissists, those pretending to shine,
and threatened by those touched with fire.

Little do they realize
that the glow of the True cannot be snuffed out.
Darkness has a go, but cannot overcome them.
Theirs is the final conquest,
the limping triumph of those who have made mosaics
from the broken pieces of themselves and their lives.
It is not registered in anything but
the peace and tranquility
of authenticity.
If money comes in a rushing wind,
it is the frosting, not the cake.
The cake is a soul
at peace with itself.

 

© Monique Amado
written November, 2012

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My Story of Healing from Eating Disorders (Podcast)

This will be part 1 of my story because there has been healing in so many areas of my life that each would require a separate talk. So I’m sure there will be more parts that I share on this topic in the future. But for now, I wanted to post the story I shared at church here in Berlin recently and my hope, as always, is that something I said might give hope and encouragement to someone listening.

There were moments of technical difficulty during my sharing…and a bit of nervousness…and a bit of crying. Our stories can be messy, so it’s no surprise that the telling of them can be too.

Click here to hear it.

It tells a bit about how I went from this:

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To this:

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I hope that if you, or someone you know, struggles with an eating disorder, or any kind of self-destructive behavior, that hearing my story will help you to not give up and to keep praying, keep hoping and keep knowing that God loves you no matter what’s going on and that healing and good things are possible.

Your life matters and you are needed here on this planet.

Blessings & peace,

Monique

p.s. If you need coaching and/or spiritual guidance, please click here to schedule an appointment for an introductory call with me.

 

 

CELTIC PRAYER & THE IMPORTANCE OF BREATHING

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The past 24 hours or so, I was reminded again of the importance of simply breathing. The situation that can bring me anxiety, anyone who knows about it can’t blame me for feeling trepidation over. (Not to sound mysterious, but I can’t go into it here.) Inhale… exhale… deep inhale… deep exhale. Still, one would think it would come so naturally—to breathe. After all, we’ve been doing it since we were born. Yet in times when things appear possibly dangerous or frightening, we can easily forget to do the most basic thing of our lives: draw air into our lungs.

When we’re anxious or troubled, it’s like we have to remind ourselves to breathe. I’ve found though that while drawing deep breaths is good, drawing deep breaths while meditating on a short phrase about God is better.

Being that it’s St. Patrick’s Day, it seems a good time to mention how powerful and calming many Celtic prayers are simply because of their simplicity and the fact that they mention such seemingly “ordinary” things, such as wind, fire, water… air. All those things seem ordinary enough until we are suddenly without them. Being without breath due to fear or panic can be like suffocating on our own thoughts.

Granted, I don’t have this all the time, but I do at times have it when it comes to extreme circumstances (a category the current situation would fall into).

So here is a prayer that might help you should you ever find yourself in a time of needing to remember to breathe. If you never have a moment like this, then we’re all very happy for you. This is for the rest of us.

This is from the Breastplate of St. Patrick:

“I arise today
Through the strength of heaven;
Light of the sun,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of the wind,
Depth of the sea,
Stability of the earth,
Firmness of the rock.

I arise today
Through God’s strength to pilot me;
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s hosts to save me
From snares of the devil,
From temptations of vices,
From everyone who desires me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone or in a multitude.

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through a confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation”

I hope this helps you, calms you, give you peace in times of distress and most of all, hope in God’s divine presence holding you and helping you.

For more ideas of wonderful short phrases you can repeat, that are easier to meditate on with your eyes closed, have a look at this link.

** The beautiful calligraphy is courtesy of my dear and gifted friend, Karen Ables, who gave this to me as a gift. It is one of my great treasures. Please only use with permission.

Wishing you much peace, protection & strength this St. Patrick’s Day.

Monique

** To schedule a free 30-minute discovery coaching call with me, just click this link.

 

 

WHAT IS THE SABOTEUR? (HINT: WE ALL HAVE ONE)

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Hi friend…

Do you ever have the experience where you’re about to do something you know you’re supposed to be doing and then you stop yourself? I don’t just mean doing the dishes or the laundry. I mean important stuff. Things your heart burns for. And yet, despite all the burning, there’s this voice inside you that takes a bucket of cold water and pours it all over you. And the next thing you know…

You’re doing something completely unrelated to whatever “it” is that you were meant to be doing.

I don’t know what it is for you. It could be a book you’ve been meaning to write. It could be that space you’ve been wanting to organize for yourself so that you’ll have a place to focus on your creative or spiritual life. It could be eating healthier so that you’re not sick and tired all the time. It could be a relationship you’ve been wanting to work on. It’s different for everyone.

But then some voice inside you says things like this:

“What’s the use? There’s no guarantee it’ll lead anywhere.”

“When I have more time.”

“So many other people are doing this. What makes me think I’ll ever get anywhere with it?”

“The last time I tried something like this, nothing came of it.”

“I’ll do it later.”

“I’m not good enough. / Nothing I do is good enough.”

“It needs to be perfect.”

Friend, that merry-go-round won’t stop on its own. You have to deal with it and stop it by force, even if it means bringing it to a screeching halt. Even if you have to dig your heels into the ground and feel like you’re being dragged a while before it stops. But stop it you must.

How do I know this? Because I have a tendency to ruminate, so if I’m not careful, I could spend hours ruminating and speculating and over-thinking. Granted, a big part of being a writer involves staring into space. But there’s a limit. I’ve had to learn to snap out of it. I do a lot of things to help with that—prayer, meditation, yoga, EFT, writing, watching and reading things that motivate and inspire me.

But in the end, the only way to cut it out is to… well, stop it. Get up and shake yourself out like a blanket that has crumbs on it. Because even crumbs can bury a person if there’s enough of them.

Remind yourself of the opportunities you have—very likely opportunities that a few years ago you only dreamed of. Or if not that, just reflect on what you’ve already done and how far you’ve already come. And if you’re having trouble remembering, call up someone who knows you well and ASK them. Ask them to remind you!

There are some friends who fit this quote so perfectly, they should have a t-shirt with it inscribed: “A friend knows the song in my heart and sings it back to me when my memory fails.” Or, in some cases, a coach.

Make sure you have at least one person in your life who can jolt your memory and remind you who you truly are and of all the good you have done. Because this will help you to courageously keep going on days when you feel like you’re not getting anywhere.

If you can’t reach a friend, consider sitting for 20 or 30 minutes and writing down all the good you have done and reminding yourself. I guarantee you, 20-30 minutes won’t be long enough.

I hope this encourages you and helps you feel less alone and more okay being human, knowing that there isn’t anyone on the planet who doesn’t struggle with self-doubt or The Saboteur.

Together, we can silence that debilitating voice and keep replacing it with the voice of grace and encouragement. The latter is the voice of truth.

If you need help battling the saboteur, you can click this link to go to my calendar and set up a free 30-minute introductory coaching call with me. 

Meanwhile, stay courageous,

Monique

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