TRANSFORm your life by reclaiming your freedom & inner power
BUILDING YOUR ROCK:
YOUR OWN EMPOWERING PRACTICE
BLOCK 1: CULTIVATING YOUR MINDSET
Be the 1 in 5
We’re nearing the end of the course. You are well on your way to Following Your Own Spark.
The aim of this program is to generate transformation. To step over the threshold from insights to inspiration and insights to action. That is why the focus for these last 2 weeks will shift more to the practical details. Bringing you from your story and your deepest longings to living your life the way you want to.
The aim from now on is to keep you on track so you will not only know HOW to follow your spark, but to actually FOLLOW it.
And this is the point where things usually come to an end.
We all have been in programs, courses or trainings before. You probably know this feeling of deciding fiercely to keep up with what you have learned. But reality is usually different and in the end you keep on returning to the exact same thing you were doing before and nothing changes.
Research from Dr. Ben Fletcher and Karen Pine (www.dsd.me) on positive behavioural change (see module 4) showed that only 20% of people -that is 1 in 5- follow a training and actually start doing something different afterward.
That is because of our autopilot again. It is all too easy to fall back into your old, comfortable behaviour.
Remember you have to choose either comfort or courage, you cannot have both. And we simply like feeling comfortable a lot better, as it is much easier.
I will give you the tools and inspiration not to let that happen to you.
The key to not letting things stall is to have your very own empowering practice. That and to actually practice it.
What I will ask of you this week is to create your own strategy. Your own practice.
We are all different. I cannot decide for you what works and what not. If I advise you to do yoga and meditation, but they are just not your thing and going on a daily walk is much more meditative to you, chances are you will keep up with that more easily. What inspires someone to take action is offputting to the next person. So choose wisely.
Whatever it is you are going to decide. You have to make your own plan. Commit yourself to it. And promise yourself you will do it every day.
What we will also dive in is cultivating your mindset, so you know how to prime your brains for success and the secret of having a first aid plan. Because falling out is the one pitfall that you should be the most aware of.
If you practice, over time your new behaviour and mindset will become your second skin, will take over the old behaviour and you will start to feel really comfortable with your new way of life. Step by step reaching towards your dreams and soul mission.
For me, the success of this course lies not in how many people take the course, but in how many individual people step up to follow their own spark AFTERWARDS.
Moving towards their dreams step by step.
That is my soul mission.
Stretching your mind
Here’s a little background on what we did last week.
All the steps we took: going out of your comfort zone, starting before you are ready, trusting the process and committing to your 5 steps are aimed at changing the way you think. Changing your brain to go from a fixed mindset into a growth mindset.
Most people in the modern Western world have fixed mindsets, that are confined by the self-proclaimed boundaries of the rational mind. In a fixed mindset you cannot reach something unless it is proven, you are limited by what you know, by your comfort zone and you can never be good at anything that you previously failed at.
Most people with fixed mindsets hold themselves back, judge others and (even more so) themselves and in general do not like it if people dare to stick their heads out. In general, you could say they have a negative outlook on life: their glass is always half empty and once a … always a …...
If you live with a fixed mindset you probably will stay in your box and you might urge others to do the same. You are not too fond of trying things you have never tried before and will certainly not take on challenges. You might have a comfortable live, but you will certainly never stretch your limits.
On the opposite, if you have a growth mindset, you are open to possibilities, see situations that happened to you and failure as opportunities for growth. You believe you can stretch yourself beyond where you are currently at and that you can learn new things. You believe everything is possible and are eager to try new things. Other people’s successes do not threaten you, but you are happy to learn from them and are inspired by them.
If you look at the limiting beliefs you still hold, what do you say to yourself that comes from a closed mindset? And what would you say if you operated from a growth mindset?
WORkbook exercise 01
If you haven't done so please print it out, or use your own notebook.
If you want to bend your mind more towards a growth mindset, here’s how you can challenge yourself:
Practice going outside of your comfort zone daily to stretch your mind (see exercise module 4)
Every time you notice yourself saying or thinking ‘yes, but’, say ‘yes, and’. Instead.
Only look at people you admire, thave done what you want to do. Notice how long they have taken to do it. Learn from their failures and perseverance.
Try a new sport, play a new music instrument, keep on doing new things.
Ask yourself: what would I do if I was not afraid.
If you want to bend your mind more towards a growth mindset, here’s how you can challenge yourself
The power of your mind’s eye
To help your mind becoming more flexible, you can use the immense power of the mind’s eye. If you can imagine it, it can be real.
You have practiced with setting intentions and affirmations, but the practice of visualisation goes one step further. An intention is a signal you put out for what you want. An affirmation is rewiring your brain to start believing what you are telling yourself, a new story so to speak.
The way manifestation works is that when you see before you the results you want, feel like you would feel when you have achieved it, as if you are living your dream right now, you will magnetically pull that towards you. It is about the intention and then the ‘dreaming’ it into practice. With visualisation you actively start to feel, not how you would feel WHEN you have reached your goal, but AS IF. For a moment, pretend you are already there. See the colours, smell the smells, feel the excitement, the joy. How proud you feel. You imagine every little detail and with this vibe you pull in your dream.
Let's do a visualisation meditation.
The power of a morning practice
Before I started to get more in tune with my soul mission I never really had a practice. I did meditate now and then, I did yoga, I sometimes asked the universe for guidance. But there was no structure. I just did whatever came to my mind if it came to my mind. I am not sure if it really worked.
The more I started to follow my soul mission and consciously create my future, the more I felt I needed to be in alignment to be able to do my work. I simply could not tap into my inner power, my intuition, let myself be guided, if I was not aligned. Perhaps you can compare it to a sports person trying to play a match without warming up or a musician composing a song without getting in the mood.
I dived into what it is that kept people balanced and in alignment. How other people deal with stress and being taken over by the day - as it sometimes felt like to me. How did other people get from all those tons of email, school runs in the morning, endless streams of information and killing deadlines to this powerful place of inner power.
Look at how most people start their day: with stress, worries about money, their schedule or a meeting they are late for. Waking up with to their phones with tons of information from news, social media or relatives.
When I looked at how I could start my day with ease, this is what I found out:
Every successful person that achieved great results, no matter if they are highly spiritual or all business, every single one of them has a morning practice.
Oprah Winfrey, Lady Gaga, Richard Branson, Barrack Obama, and the Dalai Lama all have a morning routine. Leonardo da Vinci, Madame Curie and Albert Einstein all wrote in their journals in the morning. Coach and motivator Tony Robbins starts his days with his ‘hour of power’ that brings him into a ‘peak state’. No matter where he is in the world. No matter how crazy his agenda or how late it was the day before.
These people thank(ed) their success to being proactive, not reactive.
If you too want to create the life you want, jumpstarting your day is key. So you can take your action steps towards your dreams every day and come up with inspired action.
Having a morning routine is key to creating the life you want.
Taking care of you first. Taking charge of your day, before it takes charge over you. Building you rock, rock solid.
Tony Robbins calls what he does ‘priming’,
Let’s do Tony Robins ‘priming’ exercise as he does as part of his ‘hour of power’ and with his groups sessions. It is an exercise similar to the Kundalini yoga practice of ‘Breath of Fire’ (Kapalabhati Pranayama). Priming is adjusting your thoughts and emotions so you can live in a peak state and set a powerful tone for your day.
In the exercise, you simultaneously lift your arms in a shoulder press motion, then exhale forcefully through your nostrils, while bingne your arms back to your body, palms up. He explains it in this video:
BLOCK 2: BUILDING YOUR ROCK
My daily practice
I am really glad that I now have my daily practice.
I would be lying if I told you I am doing the whole routine every day. I wish I could. Sometimes I just do not have the time to do it all. I have a deadline, a call with a client or something for my children’s school. And as it works for me, my day is not going to get better if I get up at 6 AM. That is why I have my simple daily practice too and that is th one I never skip.
If I do have time though, I start my day with drinking 500 ml. of pure celery juice, with multiple health benefits. Then I create my own mini retreat in my attic bedroom by burning some beautiful soy wax candles and some essential oil. I put on a beautiful playlist on Spotify and start with rebounding on my mini trampoline for 10 minutes. According to NASA this is the equivalent of 30/40 minutes of running and it is very good for detoxing, as the bouncing flushes your lymphatic system. Then I do some yoga exercises for about 20 minutes. I end in savasana or easy pose for meditation. I usually guide myself and pick a theme or intention that comes to my mind that I focus on and make it my daily theme too. Then I shower and start my work.
What I never skip is my routine before I start working. When I am at my desk I light my Himalaya salt lamp and an essential oil burner (with sandalwood, orange and/or geranium, depending on my mood and what I need). Then I meditate on my day and my intentions. I feel whatever wants to come up and what my intuition guides me to. Often it is just the tuning in meditation I shared in this course, sometimes I get clarity or an insight. It helps me to release tension and cleanses my energy so I am better able to do my work. After that I pick an oracle card from one of my decks for guidance. Then I set off to work with inspiring music to guide me (I listen to Snatam Kaur and Jai-Jagdeesh a lot lately).
Starting my work this way makes me feel in tune with my intuition and my inspiration, very important to me as I write a lot.
I have noticed that since doing this, I receive more guidance, can work totally from flow and feel connected to myself, the message I have to share and the clients I work for. I have come to trust that everything I need that day is coming to me in divine timing and I do not stress anymore if I still have a blank or if I have a tight deadline to make. I simply know it will be all right. Even if I do not see it at the present moment.
I do not think I could do my work without my practice.
How about you? Do you see the benefits of incorporating a daily morning practice into your schedule? Why not make it 1 of the 5 daily small steps that you will commit to?
Let's do a short exercise about how your morning routine could be like.
WORkbook exercise 03
Your morning routine
Self-care isn’t selfish
Before you go into the process of creating your own practice, I’d like to address some tools we have not been through thoroughly.
I advise self-care as an important part of your daily routine as this is the one tool that can give you your power back when you feel off.
I personally have run years on willpower purely. Fulltime running my event- and incentive business while raising 3 children and a household was a normal standard for me (oh that and my baby girl not sleeping by herself for almost 3 years). My boyfriend was also working fulltime at the time. Often people asked me how I did things, but I thought that a funny question. I just did. Until I started working from my soul and suddenly couldn’t do that anymore.
There actually was not enough attention for my feelings to exist and I did not even notice what I needed anymore. Until I started noticing. And the moment I did that I felt tired. I felt empty. I felt drained. I felt I had been given my all and it had not been replenished. I ended up with adrenal fatigue and a hormonal disbalance.
Then and only then did I allow myself to take care of myself first. To become more ‘egocentric’ and choose myself first over others.
For most people, choosing for themselves is a difficult decision. To me it was. It is still my pitfall. We are hardwired to care for others, especially when we have children, but for almost anyone, with work, parents, spouses, the endless stream of WhatsApp groups, emails, information from tv and internet pouring and pouring into our lives. It might be a cliché, but think about the safety instructions on a plane: first put a mask over your own face, before you help others.
In the next exercise I share what works for me in terms of self-care. Go ahead and choose a practice that matches your interests and needs or find your own. Whatever you choose, commit yourself to taking 20 minutes a day this week for self-care.
WORkbook exercise 04
For this week I also like you to try this (22 minutes) session of Yoga Nidra, or sleep yoga, as that is wat ‘nidra’ means: sleep. An ancient technique to awaken the connection between body, mind, and soul. The practice is like a deep sleep while you are still awake.
This ancient yoga practice is becoming more popular as a form of meditation and mind-body therapy. It has multiple physical benefits like releasing stress, bringing joy and connecting to yourself.
So take a blanket and a pillow and go ahead, give yourself some wellness:
The second thing you can do to tap into the power of your mind's eye is creating a vision board.
A vision board is a representation of your dream in manifested form. You make it in a kind of meditative state as your brain tunes in completely to the look and feel of your dream.
WORkbook exercise 02
Visualise your future
Hanging your vision board at a dedicated place in your house. Look at it every day and remember why you are doing what you are doing.
BLOCK 3: KEEPING IT UP
'Rules' to live by
I hope you can feel the power of this moment. I know I can.
The power of knowing and feeling it is within your reach.
But I also hope you are feeling the thin line, of how soon you can fall out of it again.
We have all been there. Taking vows. Making commitments. Making new year’s resolutions…. Promising ourselves: "From now on I will do this and that EVERY day". "From now on my life will be different".
And it is not like you did not mean it those other times. You know what happens? It is life. Life takes over. You know, the autopilot again. You hit a bottom and stop believing. Someone talks you ‘back to reality’. You lose your self-confidence. And you are back again where you started.
I hope that I have been very, very clear on this. And I hope I have inspired you in a way that you have not seen it before: It all comes down to ONE thing only. One!
No matter what we have gone over in these last weeks, no matter the insights you gained into your patterns, not matter how many blocks that you busted. I know with all of my heart that the most important lesson here is this:
Only if you do something different, something different happens.
So, that life takes over is a fact. The real question is what to do when it does?
I have some ‘rules’ for you.
I say ‘rules’ here as there should be no doubt that whatever rules there are rules. Foolproof and clear. I added the quotation marks as they are fully and completely yours.
Under no circumstance should you let anything or anyone withhold you from breaking your rules. Nor should you yourself if you care about your progress and success.
Of course, sometimes life takes over and for one day you feel shitty, or you decide to go against your own intuition to please someone else. But as long as you know what you are doing, as long as you are aware and make an active choice, this is all ok. Just remind yourself not falling back into people pleasing, ducking your head or whatever it is you used to do to withhold yourself from following your dream.
If after last week, you are determined to make that jump, here’s a list of what you can do to keep up with following your spark.
And it is really simple: it is ALL you have to do.
But you have to actually DO it for it to work.
Build your Rock
Realign (again) with wat it is that you want. You have learned so many ways to tune in. You can start with a meditation. You can go back to the ones I recorded for you anytime, find one on youtube or Spotify or just guide yourself. Make affirmations. Set intentions. You can also tune in by pulling an oracle card from an inspiring deck you love, burn a candle and watch it in silence or do some breathing exercises. Do your morning practice. Stick to your own empowering practice.
If you have decided what it is that you want to do, commit yourself to actually living it. Breathe it, think it, speak it, live it. Tell yourself ‘I will go for this goal today, no matter how hard’. You might not be ready, but you are committed. Ask yourself: what would I do if I was not afraid. It doesn’t matter if your progress is slow, as long as you keep moving. Keep on setting that first step.
Start before you are ready
Truth is, you will never be completely ready. There is never more time, never enough knowledge, never a guarantee that you will not fail. Now is as good as any moment to start. You can start small, and if you follow your guidance, I am sure your steps will soon gain confidence.
Take that first step
Also if you still do not know what your first step is. You feel there is something you want, so go for it.
Follow your 5 daily steps, the 5 things you committed to doing every day until you reach your goal. And again. Commit to taking the next step again tomorrow. Every day.
Take inspired action
Be ok with the not knowing. Uncertainty is what you get if you change your direction. Even if you do not know what your next step is. Sometimes our next step gets shown along the way. You will be shown the next step when it is time. So no more excuses, no more waiting for the right time, waiting for everything to be more complete, wait until you are more experienced. Trust yourself and know that exactly now is where you need to be and now is as good a starting point as any.
Know that it is ok to fall back
This is very important. As it is the point where most people quit. “Now that I have fallen out, it doesn’t matter anymore”. “I’m finished”. So you quit that diet after one snack attack. You quit your new business dreams after one lost pitch. You hold back from that dream after one person questions you. But you will not be like that. You have learned about how hard it is to break a habit. It is your brain that it your saboteur. There is no need to give up if you fall out. Just go back to the first step. Realign again, pick up that affirmation and go on. Remember the only thing you have to do is get going, keep on going. Every day.
Pull in more of what it is you want into your life. Trace your progress. Look back at where you have come from and honour where you now are at.
Failure is ok
Overnight success is rarely created overnight, even though it might look like it
If you’ve never really failed, you’ve never tried something new.
Have a look at Jay Shetty’s youtube on failure. I really like the example of Picasso’s 30 second painting that took 30 years to make possible.
You are ready
And with these 'rules' I think you are ready.
Ready to make a bold statement next week. Your statement of freedom & inner power.
If you feel you need to do more, know that it is normal. Sometimes it takes a bit of time for new habits and new beliefs to set in. Just practice them in your daily life. Go by your routine and see what it does for you. Change what does not work for you. You can also always go back to all of the modules and exercises again. They will stay yours to work with.
Remember that none of these exercises will be a one timet only. Working on your beliefs, your mindset, your self-confidence is a work in progress. It never ends. But it will become easier with practice and attitude. And with keeping on doing.
If you feel you need some more guidance, you can always book an extra coaching call with me to get clarity. Or take my signature coaching program, where we will go through each of the modules on a one-one-one basis.
With creating a self-care routine you invite better productivity, resistance to disease, better self-esteem, and self-knowledge into your life.
Your own practice
In the past month I have shared what tools helped me overcome my limiting beliefs, find my connection to my inner power and get into action.
Before you start to create your own practice, let’s first go back to all the meditations, journaling and other exercises we went through the past month, including those of today.
WORkbook exercise 05
Now it is your turn to create your own empowering practice.
To decide for yourself what tools you want to bring along with you on your path. What routine you will incorporate in your life that enhances your newfound insights. That holds space for the person you want to be.
Ask yourself these questions:
What are you already doing? What matches your energy? What do you need? What brings you into alignment? What brings you joy? What works in your life, with your schedule, the time you have (and want) to invest in this?
Look at what is doable for you, what matches your life. Only you can decide what works for you. And only when you find a routine that you can keep up with, will you actually keep up with it.
WORKBOOK EXERCISE 06
Your own empowering practice