During my first Camino walk, I encountered a range of challenges, challenges that I overcame with hardly a thought. I’d prepared myself well for the 500-mile walk and knew I had all that I needed to have a successful pilgrimage. To be specific, I had prepared with months of planning and training, had good health and endurance, good gear, and a good attitude.

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Then I met the challenge that almost beat me. After a solid day of a long, uphill slog, I started another day of a punishing walk up yet more long, uphill terrain. The second day was in the cold, wind, and rain. It was a miserable day and I was still tired from the day before. …

There are several ways I know I’m on track for reaching my goal. One is the excitement that vibrates through my body and brain. My creativity cranks up and ideas and energy are like popcorn in my brain.

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The other is the amount of resistance I feel in moving forward. Resistance is my guiding light, my compass needle pointing north. Resistance shows me where my truth lies.

Before you get all excited by this counter-intuitive statement, let me qualify my thoughts.

When I make decisions that don’t involve my strengths or support my goals and priorities, resistance will present itself. But it’s a different kind of resistance. It might distract me with social media, responding to unimportant emails, making phone calls that could wait, or even deciding to clean the house. …

Years ago I went through a period where I was stuck in a negative reaction cycle. I’d let someone’s opinion of me, or a perceived slight, get under my skin, or I’d get annoyed by actions and mistakes people made. My brain would endlessly chew on the “slight” or behavior and spin around and around it. It was driving me crazy! Probably literally. I didn’t enjoy this cycle, to say the least.

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Maybe you knew me during that period of my life.

To break the cycle I recognized I needed to dig deep to explore where that anger came from. I sensed I had to process and resolve my anger first and strive to become the source of my change. That recognition didn’t in itself give me any answers or help, but it was the first step. …

When I repeatedly hear reference to the same thing, be it a book, person, or technique, I pay attention. The most recent thing I heard repeatedly was a technique to harness the alter ego to help buoy yourself in uncomfortable or difficult situations.

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For several years that’s been part of my coaching practice — to teach clients how to use their most courageous, Future Self to stand at their side to give them the strength to address a difficult situation or conversation. That Future Self is strong and happy, giving the client a well-rounded sense of support. The Future Self supports and guides the client through challenging situations as needed. …

Always tell the truth, just don’t always be telling the truth. That was a philosophy my mother often spoke. As a kid, it seemed like a stupid thing to say, a contradiction in concepts. As an adult, I totally get it. I am even learning to take that expression a step further.

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While my mom often told us to be careful with our words so as to not hurt others’ feelings, she also demonstrated that sharing your feelings, if anything beyond happy, was inappropriate. …

I was talking with a ranching neighbor of mine the other day. He’s a great guy with a permanent smile on his face despite the hard work he puts in. Driving by his place, I always see him out working on things — cutting, bailing, and stacking hay; moving cattle from one pasture to another — or down the road in an old-fashioned cattle drive; fixing fences and tending the irrigation. Ranching is a lot of hard work. He uses horses and dogs to drive the cattle, and sometimes he uses ATVs, too. During our call, he commented that ranching is all he’s ever wanted to do. He added, “I’m not getting rich, but I’m living my ideal life.” …

Nights in White Satin, by Moody Blues, was my class’s Senior song. Our mascot was a knight, complete with a suit of armor in the school’s front entry. It represented our strength and invincibility. And no animals were harmed in our march to world domination.

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Armor always seemed like such an interesting way to protect yourself from slings and arrows, and maybe lances too. It looks as if it mostly protected knights from sharp things that could poke and hurt them. But, it looks as if it would be uncomfortable, too, not allowing much ventilation, being heavy, and restricting movement.

I’m grateful to not have a job or life that requires armor for safety! …

My friend Lou loves to remind me that “the mind masters the senses, but the breath masters the mind.” He then adds, “if you are conscious and control your breath.” When you stop to think about your breathing, which you probably rarely do, you’ll realize that the first thing you do in life is inhale, and the last thing you do in life is exhale. Talk about the breath of life!

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Lou’s discussions about breathing and breath control opened memories from my childhood of how I played around with my breathing. My friends and I loved having “tea parties” at the bottom of the pool, an activity that required good breath control. My siblings and I played hide-and-seek in the house and I learned that when I got into my hiding place that if I held my breath for a moment I could slow my heart (and silence the loud pounding from the excitement of the chase), and then with a slow exhale I could slow my breathing — both benefits kept me more silent and thus more hidden. …

I have two places I go to in my imagination when I want to change my mood. Having these getaway spots has made a big difference in my life. I bet you’d benefit by having one or more peace places too if you don’t already have them.

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When I want to feel more relaxed and at peace, I imagine sitting on an Adirondack-style chair overlooking a body of water, usually at sunset. There is always a breeze in this place of mine, and a sense of calm imbues the scene. My favorite spot of this Peace Place collection is on a lanai with a view of the beach with coconut palms gently swaying above me. I can hear the seagulls and the wind, I can smell the saltwater and tropical flowers, and I can see the waves lapping. I have a notecard with a similar picture that someone sent me to help me reach that place. …

In response to a cognitive test I took, and learning that I need to focus on focusing (oooh, look at that shiny butterfly!), I started reading Jim Kwik’s book “Limitless”. Jim teaches people how to learn, think, and read — among other things. He introduced the concept of unlimiting very early in the book. What a beautiful concept! And how appropriate for those who struggle with their potential.

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According to dictionaries, unlimiting means not limiting. Jim Kwik’s definition in his book Limitless goes into more detail and resonates with me — it’s a more compelling definition. According to Jim, it means the act or process of casting aside inaccurate and restrictive perceptions of one’s potential and embracing the reality that, with the right mindset, motivation, and methods, there are no limitations. …

About

Kit Cassingham

As a transformation coach with over 30 years of experience, I guide people to amplify their lives to achieve excellence. https://LiveInFocusedEnergy.com

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