Diane Turner is a private practice psychotherapist and certified life coach based in Chicago and Tucson. Our “possibilities coach” from Imagine That Coaching, Diane works with clients nationwide – individuals, couples and groups – on personal growth and expansion by using a strengths-based approach. Described as compassionate, tough, and authentic, Diane leverages meditation, guided imagery, hypnosis, and shamanic practices to facilitate transformation on a deep and profound level. Her deepest passion is to help others create joy and freedom in their lives.
Listening to the Wisdom of the Body: This is the primary connection between you and you, and you and others. It is the way that we experience ourselves in the world. Achieving greater health is often an intention for people in the New Year and while we strive for greater health, it is also important to acknowledge areas where we may have a physical imbalance that needs to be addressed. The body is the place where everything registers, so all of your hurt, frustration, disappointment, missed expectations and fear are all being held and create barriers.
Getting and Staying in Alignment: Much of our lives we are trying so hard to get ourselves “in line”, pushing, pulling, prodding and tugging to readjust ourselves according to the standards that we have learned and believe to be true for us. Or searching for a state of grace to accept the bad things that we cannot explain. Examining and addressing our patterns that may cause us to be out of alignment can lend to more energy. This is a dynamic process and a bit like being on a teeter-totter – when it is perfectly parallel to the ground, it is at a balancing point.
Slowing Down to Get Going Fast: What we experience internally shows up externally, so if we want to create something new, a place to start is to turn the page on our old story – not necessarily disconnecting from that story, as it will always be there; but, going to a new level. There are so many possibilities as we experience changes in our lives – new jobs, new relationships, new living arrangements, or different financial situations. Some of these shifts are neither good nor bad, they are just different, and easing into a gradual awareness may have greater staying power than expecting an epiphany.
Creating from a Place of Discovery: Many of us create our lives in reaction to something outside of us. We focus on the opinions of others or we tell ourselves a story about what would win us approval or success. The process of discovery involves identifying what is important to us and what makes us feel good. It takes time, a calm before a storm. It isn’t about dissing others, nor about dissing ourselves. Stop guessing and focusing our attention outwardly, instead turning inward with an excitement and curiosity of discovery, returning to our deepest knowing about who we are.
Initiations and New Beginnings: When you are living with the intention of discovery, you become aware of experiences in your life or the lives of others. These experiences are also called “initiations” – a new beginning, a new start – even an unplanned situation that we can’t explain and are left wondering why … why now, why me, why this?! In a blink fear or surprise of the unexpected challenges our current reality. If we try to “go back” or “return to things as they were”, we may find ourselves in struggle rather than a newer state of expansion and flow. Use change as a teaching tool.
Using Change as a Teaching Tool: There are people who always seem to be changing and yet their struggles are the same. Sometimes, without awareness, we respond with the same skill set, the same choices and therefore, the outcome of our decisions are the same. The key is to learn and become aligned or in sync, be taught by or through a change, to slow down, take a breath and ask ourselves the question: “Am I feeling this way, or am I still rowing upstream?” This is not about changing externals, but primarily modifying our internal response to the externals.
Adjusting Our Focus: Life is short and we are in charge of what we create. Many of us focus a significant amount of our attention on the details of our lives rather than acknowledging our overarching goals and dreams. Alignment occurs when the lists we make take us to a bigger picture – looking at both the trees and the forest. When we make choices, do they sooth us or do they nourish us? Being awake to options reminds us of the broader view, enabling a shift from frustration, anger, fear, and overwhelm that all get in the way of our being connected to a better future.
Become the Hero in Your Own Life Story: Do you fully claim who you are, your skill sets and contributions regardless of scale and scope to share with the rest of the world? When we think of being heroic, we are reminded of someone who behaves or acts in ways that are completely aligned, not doubting or second-guessing. They often have no regard for the outcome, even if it was dangerous or hazardous. They acted because it was the only thing they could do in that moment. Becoming a hero in our own story means creating or acting on our own behalf, in ways that are aligned to our values and the essence of who we are.
Coming Full Circle: The Fall season is a time of both new beginnings (starting school, planting crops, etc.) as well as a time for preparation for winter (storing up for harsher weather and quieter times, closing out the business quarter). There is a natural progression towards a slower natural pace of the day and whether we are outgrowing one thing or mindfully preparing for the next, we have the opportunity to expand in our lives, not contract. Now is an important time to set boundaries, declare a personal bottom line, define where the line might be in the sand to create more energy and possibility.
Being Present – Showing Up for the Life You Want: In order to have the lives we want, we need to face the challenge of being present, an awareness and willingness to bring ourselves to the table with a true desire to not miss a thing that is going on NOW. We have to claim our value and our worth rather than organizing around a belief about not being enough. Feeling uncomfortable and experiencing our fear as we align more fully with ourselves is an essential part of showing up for ourselves. Confusion is where the opening for change and possibility live.
Experiencing and Expressing Gratitude: The Thanksgiving Holiday is a wonderful time think about gratitude – both the power of experiencing it, and the importance of expressing it. Imagine sitting around the Thanksgiving table and taking a few moments to appreciate what is in front of you, and importantly to reflect on the abundance of life rather than on what is missing or on the limitations. Gratitude is the mid-point between releasing struggle and moving into a calm, full and connected place with yourself and others. Establishing a daily practice of gratitude actually shifts our experiences, an invitation to attract more of what we want through language, intention and energy.
Am I Worthy of the Life I Desire?: People often judge and criticize themselves on a belief that their worth comes from what they produce, rather than who they are. Much of our self-defeating behavior and choices that deplete us are tied to pushing for a goal, only to arrive and still not “be there” on the inside. Sometimes the striving is about winning the approval of others, an approval that can be fleeting and is then replaced by doubt and insecurity. Shift instead to appreciating yourself while striving for what feels the most aligned and expansive to you. Focus on what you want, not what you don’t want.
Copyright The Larsen Group: Architects of Change 2008