Posted by: tiggerproject | September 14, 2012

On Grief, Loss and Smiling Again…

Today I attended the memorial service of a high school classmate.  He passed away from cancer at the age of 40, leaving a wife and two young children.  It seems senseless and unfair for a life to feel cut short.  Dying young does not fit our model of the world, and how things should turn out.

If you have lost someone, I offer you my sincerest condolences.  The loss of a child, spouse,  sibling or dear friend is not something I would wish on anyone.  But did you know that the ability to process through grief is one of the keys to longevity?  Think about it: if you live to blow out 100 candles on your birthday cake, you will probably out-live some folks…

Grieving is healthy and natural, but not when you get stuck there.  Cry, scream, and throw weights around, but remember that what you focus on expands.  When you replay the special memories and feel the love you shared, it honors that person so much more.  He or she would not want you depressed or upset for too long.

What are your spiritual beliefs?  When a loss occurs, this is not the time to abandon those beliefs.  You can choose an empowering meaning and find a way to make the loss purposeful.

One of the most amazing examples of creating purpose out of loss is the story of John Walsh.  Walsh’s son Adam was abducted and murdered at the age of five.  Walsh went on to create “America’s Most Wanted,” a groundbreaking TV show that caught over 1,000 criminals and brought home over 50 missing children.  Another example is Candy Lightner, who founded Mothers Against Drunk Driving.  Candy’s three children experienced injuries as a result of drunk drivers (at three different times) and one of them died.  When she realized that none of these drivers, including the one that killed her daughter, would receive jail time or tickets, she decided to start MADD.  Candy later wrote, “I promised myself on the day of Cari’s death that I would fight to make this needless homicide count for something positive in the years ahead.”

Our life is truly precious and we take so many things for granted.  Every day we breathe is an opportunity to express our love, our appreciation and our talents.  If you are hurting and missing someone, please know that there is someone out there who would be feeling the same if you were gone.  I appreciate you for reading and God Bless.

Posted by: tiggerproject | September 13, 2012

You Deserve A Great Relationship

“People are inspired to do remarkable things to find and be with the one they love. Big movies are made about it, and every relationship you admire bursts with a greatness that hope for in your life. And the more you value yourself, the more chance you’ll have of getting it.” – Greg Behrendt

You are worth it.
You will have it.
You can create and manifest it.
Believe.
Relax.
Smile.

Posted by: tiggerproject | August 21, 2012

Three Simple Ways to Feel Better

Dear Tiggers,

I have learned a powerful tool that will help you beat the blues faster than you can say, “I’m bummed.”   If you’re feeling angry, sad or disconnected, here are three very simple steps to feel better immediately:

Step 1:  Change Your Physiology.

Imagine a time you felt really proud of yourself.  Freeze frame.  What were you doing in that position of power?  How did you stand, breathe or hold your body? I’m going to guess that you were standing tall, holding your head up high with hands raised in victory.  Think of an Olympian winning gold and put yourself in that same state.  Fist-pumping is going to change your physiology faster than curling up in the fetal position.  It’s not cheesy.  Think about it.  We do certain things with our body and facial features when we practice negative emotion.  Changing your physiology is as simple as going for a walk, breathing deeply, working out or dancing around the house naked (yep, that’s a good one).  If you could remember a happy moment, a silly moment, a sexy moment or a time you reached a goal, would it put a smile on your face? Okay, now that you’re smiling…

Step 2:  Change Your Focus

What you’re thinking about is creating a negative feeling.  And chances are you’ve gotten into a pattern where you feel powerless to change a situation.  Um hello…you are not stuck!  Let’s think about a goal or desire you have.  How are you going to feel when you have this goal?  Now imagine that you already have it.  Let’s play pretend…you did it as a kid all the time…and it’s fun!

In all seriousness, something that helps is practicing gratitude.  Make a list of all the blessings in your life.  If this is really hard and you’re caught up in gloom, you might need a more radical approach.  Go immediately to your local homeless shelter or hospital and volunteer to help someone in a much worse position than you.  You have forgotten that your life is a gift and that you are here to shine your light.  Stop the pity party.  It makes you ugly.

Step 3:  Change Your Language

Speak your desired world into being.  We humans just LOVE to connect over tragedies, miseries and gossip.  Somehow there’s a sense that it makes us more interesting.  Instead of talking about what went wrong, talk about what you’d like to create.  Share your goals and possibilities with others.  You will be surprised who wants to support you, cheer you on and offer to help in some way.   In addition, create a powerful mantra: a statement that boldy declares who you are.  Consider it your personal mission statement.  Mine is a bit long, but goes something like:  “I embody vibrant, radiant health.  I am beautiful, loving, sexy and kind.  Every day in every way, I feel stronger and stronger.”  As I’m running and repeating my mantra over and over, it has a cadence to it that keeps me going for miles!  You can repeat yours while walking, running or driving in your car.  Who cares if people think you’re a crazy person talking to yourself, just go for it!

Let me know how this works for you.

Posted by: tiggerproject | July 18, 2012

MAKING FRIENDS AND AVOIDING THE DREAMKILLERS

“A stranger is just a friend I haven’t met yet.” – Will Rogers

Friendship is one of those magical keys to wellness.  It is a universal human need to feel connection, and when we open our hearts, feel curiosity or find commonalities, it is amazing how quickly we can make a new friend.  There is great pain and suffering when we isolate ourselves or don’t risk being vulnerable and real.  A lot of us fail to remember that to have a friend you must BE a friend, which requires emotional and/or physical presence.  When I think about great moments with friends or new people I’ve met, I was simply being and enjoying the moment: laughing, conversing or sharing.  In these precious moments there is no expectation, just connection.  It’s a wonderful feeling isn’t it?

Some of you are very kind to others but are less compassionate with yourself.  Turning critical thoughts and judgments inward is just as abusive as expressing this outwardly.  Do you attract controlling, domineering and highly critical people into your experience?  When you can begin to heal this aspect in yourself, these types will float on out of your world, or when they show up, you can recognize them as actors in your play that are there in service to your growth.  When I catch myself judging or feeling dislike for someone, I must remember that these are merely aspects of myself I do not enjoy.  The people that surround you are mirrors of you – this is a tough pill to swallow sometimes.

There will be some people, including those closest to you, who will express fear and judgment about what you’re up to and who you are becoming.  I call them the Dreamkillers.  It is Universal Law that once you truly commit to something, obstacles will pop up to test your commitment.  When those you love and respect seem to withdraw their approval, remember that it is merely their own fear of change.  They do not know who you are becoming and often this threatens their very safe and certain existence.  Your changes are causing them to examine their own life and this is often an uncomfortable place.  When you share ideas about a career change there are those that will worry about your fiscal responsibility (this is really about them!).  When you alter eating and fitness patterns, some will feel resentment that you will no longer be sharing a meal at a fast food joint or smoking cigarettes with them.  I once had a boyfriend who said I was “not fun” because I didn’t want to drink an alcoholic beverage he handed to me.  He was a guy who didn’t know how to have fun without a few drinks and our lifestyles didn’t match up.  Respect your own boundaries and surround yourself with the people who will support your journey as well as your highest and best self.  If the people giving you a hard time are family members or a spouse, they probably need reassurance that you will still love them.  There is an underlying fear that as you evolve, there will be a loss of love and connection.  If anything, there will be more of the real you available to love and be loved.

Tigger is my metaphor for embodying a passionate, purposeful, and vibrant life.  As you become more “Tigger-like” and self expressed, it is inevitable that you will make new friends and encounter some dreamkillers. Each of these people is a teacher to you and can be compared to the lights of a runway guiding you forward. Don’t let the dreamkillers (aka Eeyores)  bounce you off-course and give thanks to those who are supporting you on your journey.

Posted by: tiggerproject | June 14, 2012

SETTING A NEW STANDARD

“Life will pay any price you ask of it.” – Tony Robbins

What is the difference between getting a result you desire and the reality of the circumstance?  It’s all about your standard and expectation in this area of your life.  We definitely like to live in our stories about why a particular area is a way it is.  If you tell yourself that you have tried everything and nothing has worked to shift this area, this simply isn’t true.  You might have tried a handful of things, but not everything.  Since the Tigger Project is all about rewriting and reinventing a new story, decide which area needs your attention today.

You know there are areas in your life that absolutely MUST be held to a certain standard.  Perhaps you have a standard for cleanliness or the quality of food you buy.  I know people who absolutely must exercise every day.  This is not a negotiable thing for them.  As a result, they have earned a strong, athletic physique and tend to make healthier choices.  What if YOU decided to set a higher standard in an area that displeases you?  Is your romantic relationship less than stellar?  How is your weight?  What about the state of your finances?  What new standard could you set, if your excuses were set aside?

As you take a stand for living your best life, tackle those ridiculous notions that you are unworthy and unlovable.    People that consistently sabotage their weight loss efforts or bank accounts are operating from negative belief systems.  When you start embodying the inner truth that your real self is radiant, worthy, valuable and loving, your outer world will begin to reflect this truth in magical ways.

Invest in yourself.  Get in touch with what that investment looks like.  Perhaps it’s promising yourself time for a workout and even hiring a trainer to get you on a plan.  It could be a seminar or a certification in something new.  If you’re a workaholic and don’t have enough fun, maybe it’s time for a well deserved vacation – even if it’s solo. Do you have a passion or hobby? There are creative ways to combine your interests (cycling, painting, cooking, volunteering, yoga) with vacations.  Don’t have enough money and want to be debt free?  Taking a stand could be meeting with a financial advisor and taking control of your finances.  Have a lot of areas you’re working on? Hire a life coach.

If you would like assistance in a particular area of your life and you’re ready to make a shift, I am seeking practice clients (no charge) while I work on my coaching certifications.  Please contact me at kristinaihess@gmail.com to schedule an appointment via telephone or Skype.

In health,

Kristina

Posted by: tiggerproject | May 30, 2012

ENVISION A LIFE YOU LOVE USING BACKWARD DESIGN

BACKWARD DESIGN: START WITH THE END IN MIND

I used to work in elementary education and a few years ago I attended professional training on curriculum development.  It was there that I was introduced to a book called Understanding by Design, by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe.  The concept of the book is simple and logical:  As a teacher, what enduring concepts, ideas or skills do I want my students to learn?  Once I’m clear on the objectives, I can begin planning lessons and learning experiences that help me reach my desired goal.  In other words, I must begin with the end in mind.

Backward design is just as important for your life.  Where do you envision yourself in five, ten or twenty years?  Not to be morbid, but at the very end of your life, how do you wish to be remembered?  What would you like to have created?  What is your personal legacy?  If you’re a parent, what are you modeling for your children?

One of my personal heroes is Tony Robbins.  If I could meet one person before I die, it would be him.  He talks about not dying with “your music still inside of you.”  Everyone has talents and qualities that long to be nourished and fostered.  What “music” is your soul longing to express?  Your optimal life can only be designed by one person: YOU.

It is true that many of us have hopes and dreams that have yet to materialize.  Failed expectations and goals have the ability to generate emotional anguish.  The resulting fear can keep us from opening ourselves up to love or taking risks.  However, living life full-out requires us to risk.  There is no big reward to living a small, safe, unsatisfying life.  Hiding alone at home when you want to make friends or desperately want a partner is cowardly.  Wishing you could change careers or start a business but instead complain endlessly without taking action is spineless as well. Perhaps you are so rigid with your life regimen that you say “no” to experiences that might open you up to some fun.  For example, I have a friend that likes to go to bed at 8pm.  Because she is ruled by her sleep regimen, she declines invitations to socialize with others and then wonders why she doesn’t have more friends.  I’m not saying she’s unhappy with her life, but if we’re being radically honest here, she’s not exactly lighting the world on fire/expanding horizons either.

There will always be circumstances out of our control such as the death of a loved one, crazy weather, elevator breakdowns or the state of the world economy.  However, we can accept responsibility for our own life, attitude and ways of being.  It is up to you to dig deep and envision your life story.  Your age is irrelevant.  It is never too late to reinvent!  My own father lost his job with JP Morgan at age 62.  He didn’t curl up in bed or throw up his hands in resignation. Instead, he started his own financial advisory business which is now thriving! He started doing Crossfit at age 63 and is now (at 65) in the best shape of his life.  It is NEVER too late to begin anew.  Each day is a new opportunity.  Start with the end in mind and envision where you want to go.  Now be fearless and take that one step forward.

Vision_Board_Sept_2010_inprogress

Vision_Board_Sept_2010_inprogress (Photo credit: WiseWellWoman)

Activity:  The Vision Board

Perhaps you’ve heard of making a vision board or a vision book?  It’s easy to make one.  Simply cut out pictures and words from magazines that represent you and your life ideals then paste them on a large poster board or in a scrapbook.  Research has proven that visualization and articulation of goals elicits the greatest results.   This powerful process will help you clarify your own values and desires.  Afterwards, keep your vision board somewhere you can see it every day.  Lastly, find someone who will support you in your vision so they can hold you accountable.  If you are lucky enough to have a partner who will a make a vision board with you, the collective energy is even more powerful.

Posted by: tiggerproject | May 29, 2012

Mindful Words

I wanted to share a really cool site called Minimal Wall. 

You can print these postcards out and post them around your home or make it your digital wallpaper.

Leave yourself a reminder or better yet…send a note to a loved one.  You will make their day!

http://www.minimalwall.com/category/mindful-words/page/3/

Posted by: tiggerproject | May 24, 2012

Getting into “The Vortex”

Abraham-Hicks, author of “Ask and It Is Given” and “The Vortex” describes The Vortex as the space of total alignment where one feels “tapped in and turned on.”  In this state, our thoughts and feelings are all in vibrational harmony which means there is no resistance to our desired creations.  We not only have belief about something, we also feel good when we think about it.  It’s that magical zone we live in when we’re in love, completely enthralled in an activity, or simply feel appreciation and/or elated anticipation.   We all know this wonderful state because we have moments, hours, days and even weeks when we reside there.

We also know the discomfort of being outside of The Vortex.  The moment we’re feeling worry, fear, frustration or judgment, we’ve thrown ourselves out.  Negative feelings are the indicator that we are out of alignment.  Abraham teaches that the more we focus on our “issues” (not enough $, no relationship, poor health etc) the farther we get away from the very thing we want.

So if we have a genuine desire to live in authentic happiness, how do we get into The Vortex?  Abraham says we must focus on the things that bring us joy and light us up.

One activity that puts me in the vortex very easily is oil painting.  I enjoy it so much that I can focus for hours without thinking about anything else.  It’s completely Zen and very meditative for me.  As I was listening to one of my Abraham-Hicks recordings, I decided that it was time to use painting to put me back into The Vortex.  I hadn’t picked up my paintbrushes in over a year so yesterday I signed up for a landscape painting class that started today.  It felt so good to be painting again (I stayed an extra two hours past class time) and my instructor is a doll.  It really filled my spirit with so much peace.

What do you enjoy doing that makes you feel complete joy and harmony?  If you don’t know what it is, try something new!  I tried a Zumba class for the first time about a month ago and I’m totally hooked!  It’s the most fun 60-minutes of exercise that I’ve ever had.  It’s so enlivening that it doesn’t feel like exercise at all (unlike Crossfit for example).

To be a Tigger and feel exhilaration and inspiration, you must change your state by getting in The Vortex.  Do something today that makes you smile.  It can be as simple as playing with your child, petting your cat or going for a walk.  As a result, you will temporarily turn your focus away from other topics that make you cranky and disheartened.  Your life is waiting to be lived and enjoyed…

 

Posted by: tiggerproject | May 20, 2012

The Mind-Body-Spirit Detox Cleanse

Cleansing is a hot word these days, but it’s necessary given the pollution, chemicals and over stimulation we are exposed to from our food and beauty products, to our technology and media. If you’re going to live in authentic happiness, a multi-faceted “detox” will help your clarity, focus and vitality. While Spring is typically the season for new beginnings and cleansing, this detox can be started at anytime. I’ve created this template to live by for the next 30 days and will let you know what results I have. If you take this on, I would love to hear from you as well!

STEP ONE: CLEANSE YOUR ENVIRONMENT

An organized, de-cluttered home is the outward manifestation of a clear and focused mind. For the next 30 days, engage in the re-organization of your home environment. Since this can be a daunting task, break the work into chunks by cleaning out a closet, shelf, drawer or room each day. If the items you are organizing aren’t contributing to the beauty and joy in your life, donate them or throw them away. I have already given away three bags of clothes! If you’re not wearing that cute top you purchased on sale, or you’re holding onto your skinny jeans from 10 years ago because you hope they’ll fit someday, it’s time for them to go. They represent an old version of you that no longer exists.

Once you’ve done the work of cleaning out the old items and organizing what you have, it’s time for the spiritual cleanse of your home. On a piece of paper, write your intentions of what you would like to create in your “new” space. Family harmony? Restful sleep? Making room for a new relationship? Whatever it is, write it down and then burn it (a metal pot works nicely). After your intentions have been offered, burn some white sage (you can find some at Whole Foods) and walk through your entire house holding your intentions in your mind and allowing the smoke to clear away any negative energy. I suggest you do this with all your windows open so you don’t set off any smoke alarms. Once the sage burning is over, take a bell or singing bowl to re-calibrate the energy to a high vibration. If you don’t have a bell, clapping (yes clapping) works just as well. Clap into the corners of your rooms as energy can get stuck there. Next, take a bowl of water and add some sea salt. Since your hands are instruments of love, dip your hand in the water and sprinkle your “love water” around the house. Again, your intention is everything. Finish up your cleanse by either burning sweet grass or spraying a scented room spray. Sweet grass is used for bringing in positive energy and smells a heck of a lot better than sage.

STEP 2: BEAUTIFY YOUR BODY INSIDE & OUT

The body cleanse is simple yet difficult for many. We inherently know that the afternoon potato chips aren’t the best choice. A true cleanse requires mental fortitude as well as the highest degree of self love. If you’re reading this, you are probably the type of person that wants the most out of life. However, loving life includes being a loving contribution to others. How can we truly love others, when we don’t love ourselves? Therefore, to embark on a nutritional cleanse, I encourage you to commit to yourself. You will definitely “lighten up” by losing weight, but a more profound reason is to become WHO YOU REALLY ARE.

Be advised that cleansing the body brings out interesting reactions in other people. When you are not drinking alcohol or partaking in sharing the same foods you used to, the fear it can elicit in others is amusing. I remember a few years ago when I decided to adopt a vegan lifestyle, a co-worker of mine got very angry when our employers gave us free ice cream and I refused to have some. When I told him I had given up dairy, he told me that it was the “stupidest thing he had ever heard.” I was surprised by his reaction but shrugged it off. The next day, my co-worker came to find me to apologize. To his credit, he is very self-aware and said, “I asked myself why I had reacted so angrily and then it hit me that I felt my own way of eating being threatened.” If family or friends criticize or attempt to sabotage your efforts, realize that it’s about their fear and insecurity. There will always be critics. Be kind and love yourself anyway.

Okay…for the next 30 days, I will be following the Paleo Diet. On this plan, I eliminate sugar, processed food, grains and dairy. I strongly believe in the purity and health benefits of raw living foods so my detox includes a daily green juice, wheatgrass shot and large salad. Fruit, vegetables, lean and organic protein (animal & plant), nuts and seeds are allowed. It should go without saying that alcohol is a no-no, but I’ve built in a “cheat night” where I can have a glass of wine. Otherwise, hydrate with water and herbal tea. You need to honor what your body needs and learn to nourish it with foods that make you feel vital and light.

Don’t forget to sweat! Exercise is a key component of the 30 day detox. Besides a toned physique and improving cardiovascular fitness, your skin is the largest organ of your body and elimates toxins through sweat. I prefer to get my workouts in by doing a combination of CrossFit, running and cardio classes. I really like variety. Whatever you choose doesn’t matter, just get moving!

STEP 3: NOURISHING YOUR SPIRIT

In our fast paced culture, we really do forget to stop and smell the proverbial roses. In these next 30 days, I urge you to pamper yourself with a combination of quiet, relaxation, and fun. Practice loving kindness with yourself so you can offer it to others. When our own tanks are full, we are better able to give.

If you have Tigger-y friends, this is the time to schedule some time to hang out. It’s important to laugh and connect with buddies who make you feel good. It should go without saying, but there is no need to spend time with those who enjoy venting or gossiping – or who bring it out in you.  Last night I was out in NYC with three of my best girlfriends.  We went out to dinner and a Broadway show: The Book of Mormon.  I laughed so hard that I was crying at certain parts.  The fact that I got to share that experience with my girlfriends and laugh alongside them was very special.  Spending time with them turned me around after a few days of feeling less than Tigger like.  It just goes to show that feelings of love and connection truly elevate mood.

Since I felt like I fell off my happiness wagon last week, I have decided that I’m going to add a 30 day practice of keeping a Gratitude Journal as well as watching (or listening) to Abraham-Hicks.  If you haven’t listened to the positive words of Abraham speaking through Esther Hicks, there is really nothing better to get you in the spirit of allowing and “finding the better feeling thought.”  It’s powerful stuff.

Happy Cleansing!

Kristina

Posted by: tiggerproject | May 15, 2012

Cultivating Compassionate Listening

COMPASSION

I was recently on a plane ride and sat next to a brother and sister duo in their late 40s, early 50s. From the time we sat down, they were boisterous, commenting on the flight attendants and cracking each other up. They ordered Bloody Marys and then a second. They continued to be extremely loud. It was very disruptive behavior and I found my annoyance levels rising. They eventually quieted down and tuned into the in-flight movie selection: THE DESCENDANTS. If you haven’t seen this movie starring George Clooney, it’s quite heavy and deals with transcending death, loss and betrayal.  After the movie was over, I engaged a now-subdued sister in conversation. I found out that her mother and grandmother had recently passed away in the same month, and her father was not handling it well. She explained that she and her brother were travelling to visit him every two weeks because he was feeling so lonely and sad. As she talked I saw (and felt) the tremendous pain they were feeling and I inwardly admonished myself for my personal judgments. This brother and sister were using humor and alcohol to feel better but after our conversation we all enjoyed a calmer, quieter plane ride.  It seems that once they had the opportunity to share their story to a listening ear, there was no longer a need to seek negative attention.  When they spoke to each other during the remainder of the ride, they still used humor and joked, but it was no longer at anyone’s expense.  They were relating to each other in a more authentic way.  It is easy to forget that most people are dealing with something, but if we take the time to find out what is happening in their world, our compassionate listening creates intimacy, connectedness and opportunities for healing.  For me, it was a priceless lesson in cultivating my own levels of compassion for others.

ACEs Too High

THE FIRST TIME THAT principal Jim Sporleder tried the New Approach to Student Discipline at Lincoln High School in Walla Walla, WA, he was blown away. Because it worked.

In fact, it worked so well that he never went back to the Old Approach to Student Discipline.

This is how it went down: A student blows up at a teacher, drops the F-bomb. The usual approach at Lincoln – and, safe to say, at most high schools in this country – is automatic suspension.

Instead, Sporleder sits the kid down and says quietly: “Wow. Are you OK? This doesn’t sound like you. What’s going on?” He gets even more specific: “You really looked stressed. On a scale of 1-10, where are you with your anger?”

The kid was ready. Ready, man! For an anger blast to his face….”How could you do that?” “What’s wrong with you?”…and for the big boot…

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