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Zen Matrix https://zenmatrix.com Personal Transformation Through the Fusion of Science and Soul Fri, 18 Sep 2020 00:10:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.7.2 https://zenmatrix.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/cropped-cropped-Zen-Matrix-32x32.png Zen Matrix https://zenmatrix.com 32 32 175842820 Is Love the Key to Happiness? https://zenmatrix.com/is-love-the-key-to-happiness/ Fri, 18 Sep 2020 00:10:13 +0000 https://zenmatrix.com/?p=1900 Is love the key to happiness? Well isn’t that the question of the Century?! The fact of the matter is that there is no simple answer. However, what you’re about to read I hope will help you find your answer. So here’s the lowdown on love and happiness—everyone has their own version of how they …

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Is love the key to happiness? Well isn’t that the question of the Century?! The fact of the matter is that there is no simple answer. However, what you’re about to read I hope will help you find your answer.

So here’s the lowdown on love and happiness—everyone has their own version of how they experience them. That goes with saying that the definition of love and happiness are fluid. For me, love is when I feel unconditional warmth and tenderness toward myself and/or another person, and in some cases, yes that brings me happiness. Happiness can show up in ways where love is never even a factor—it   can be waking up to a sunny day (particularly where the weather is clear skies with a consistent 73 degrees), or it can be eating a large veggie pizza (add pepperoni and pineapple) from my favorite Italian spot absolutely guilt-free. Happiness can really mean anything you choose, whether it involves love or not.

Now if I were to ask one of my friends how they define love, they’d likely say, “Love is when a person loves me for who I am, provides me with endless amounts of intimacy and support, gives me gifts, listens to me, is my best cheerleader, etc.” I would probably get a huge laundry list over the next two hours about what their partner, or parent, or someone else needs to provide in order to know they are loved. Once they have that, then they will be happy.

There can be an infinite amount of ways in which we may define love, but the biggest distinction to make is whether we view love as something we can tap into within ourselves, or whether we have to obtain it from something or someone externally. No matter which definition resonates with us, we have the opportunity to find love and happiness. However, love found outside one’s self is often short lived, and therefore so is the happiness associated with it.

Why does this happen? Usually when someone is searching for anything outside of themself it usually means they don’t believe they are capable of obtaining it on their own. Ultimately, this may stem from thoughts such as, “ I am not good enough, I’m not pretty enough, I’m not lovable, etc.”

In romantic relationships, people experience this with the Honeymoon Phase. When a couple first enters a relationship everything feels so exciting—they get warm fuzzy feelings when they’re around one another, they think about each other non-stop, lust is at its all-time high, they maybe even fantasize about taking trips with each other, and envision their happily ever after without a single fight or flaw.  This phase can last a week, a month, one year, or perhaps even two. Nevertheless, the excitement will die down, and then the true test begins of whether or not they are experiencing lasting love with their partner. If each partner recognizes that they are the sole creators of love for themselves, the relationship becomes a true partnership, in which love is merely being reflected from one person to another. Those who are unable to recognize their self-love are usually left feeling unfulfilled in the relationship, ultimately leading to its downfall.

So back to the question at hand—Is love the key to happiness?  To truly answer this question, I have to rephrase it, because the more I think about it, the more I’ve realized our focus has been in the wrong place in our pursuit of overall life fulfillment: Will I embrace myself as I am, knowing I am the embodiment of love AND happiness? We have the full potential to create a thriving life full of love and happiness, no matter how we choose to view our world. The key to it all is to understand how we want to view that world, so that we may continue to move forward making the choices that best serve who we are and how we want to live our lives. For those who may need a little more clarity on just how to do that, consider the following questions:

  • What does love mean to me? (What does it look like? Feel like?”)
  • What does happiness mean to me? (What does it look like? Feel like?”)
  • How do I create my own love and happiness, completely detached from another person? Make a list of all the ways you love yourself, and another where you create your happiness.
  • Of all of the things I expect my partner to provide for me, if any, which can I just as easily provide for myself?
  • How do I gift my love and happiness to others so that they may thrive too?
  • How do I sacrifice my love and happiness so that others will approve of me?
  • How do I hold myself back from receiving love and happiness?
  • How might I be doing a disservice to myself, and to others, by not allowing myself to love and be happy in my own, authentic way?

Jenna Ponaman

Jenna is an expert Relationship coach at Zen Matrix

Relationship Coaching

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The Importance of Lessons Learned From Transformational Coaching https://zenmatrix.com/lessons-learned-from-transformational-coaching/ Mon, 14 Sep 2020 20:42:12 +0000 https://zenmatrix.com/?p=1878 Transformational coaching is a journey.  It has its ups and downs and unexpected turns. Some coaching sessions are truly a break-through experience, and some just make you go “hmm”.  It’s all part of the transformational journey. There is no prescribed procedure. Each journey is as unique as the person experiencing it. Equally important to the …

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Transformational coaching is a journey.  It has its ups and downs and unexpected turns. Some coaching sessions are truly a break-through experience, and some just make you go “hmm”.  It’s all part of the transformational journey. There is no prescribed procedure. Each journey is as unique as the person experiencing it.

Equally important to the journey are the lessons learned along the way.  These lessons, if not observed, given their due consideration and learned from, are missed opportunities in the coaching process.  Like a mystery novel, you won’t discover the lessons your journey reveals until they are upon you.  These lessons like the journey itself are precious.  They are the rare gems to be discovered through your personal self-development, your inner work, and sometimes through trials and tribulations. Your lessons will certainly be worth every bit of effort it takes to discover them.

It’s About Lessons Learned

Here’s a practical ‘lessons learned’ example.  At 5 AM our little Yorkie starting whining and I knew what that meant.  I rushed her to the front door, hooked her to the tie-out lead and opened the door.  She bolted out and went, traveled five feet and went again, and then another ten feet and went again.  We had recently made a sudden change in her diet as a knee-jerk reaction to a frightful diagnosis from her vet, and the result of our panicked decision was now all over the front lawn.  Life really is about choices.

The particular lesson learned from this morning: change the diet slowly – ease into it.  We already knew that, but in a panic we had disregarded it.  How many lessons have you already learned, but for whatever reason you’ve discounted their importance?  Like that new special someone that your gut tells you is not right for you, but you let yourself fall in love anyway.  Or that parental gut feeling you had about your child that you ignored because of another person’s opinion.  Some of these oversights can cause hurt and some can create a real mess. 

Continuing the Transformational process

Change – like a change in diet, a relationship change, a career change, or the change you’ll experience in transformational coaching – is a process.  ‘Process’ seems like such a daunting word, does it not?  Effort.  Time.  Energy.  Ugh!  That’s how it can feel sometimes – overwhelming; and who needs more overwhelm?  We want to push a button, take a pill, or “click here” and have the entire thing over and done with.  What if you didn’t think about the effort, time, and energy, and instead just let it unfold?  See what comes.  Trust it.  Allow it.  Whatever “it” is.

The Key Elements of Transformational Coaching

Like the change that comes about from transformational coaching, one must ease into it, and pay attention to the experience.  An important practice for any coaching client: learn from the experience.  Some clients don’t self-observe between coaching sessions.  They pay attention to self-awareness during the session, but the sessions themselves are only part of the experience.  Oftentimes the answers to personal self-development and the corresponding transformation that occurs emerge in the spaces between.  What are you are thinking and feeling between sessions?  Let your coach know about those thoughts and emotions.  There could be juicy nuggets of learning packed into them.  Expecting overnight change, rushing into it with unrealistic expectations, or not following a professionally guided coaching process could create, well, a mess.  Remember that each experience will be different from one individual to another – making your transformational journey all the more extraordinary

Christine Conte

Christine is a Spiritual and Life Transition Empowerment Coach at Zen Matrix.

Life Caoching

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SELF COMPASSION TIPS https://zenmatrix.com/self-compassion-tips/ Thu, 10 Sep 2020 15:52:32 +0000 https://zenmatrix.com/?p=1883 Understanding Self–Compassion As a coach and meditation teacher I talk about self compassion a lot. Why?  Because it is at the root of much of our discomfort. We can be horribly mean to ourselves. Often, in ways we may not always be consciously aware of. Think about it for a moment. In any given day, can …

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Understanding SelfCompassion

As a coach and meditation teacher I talk about self compassion a lot. Why?  Because it is at the root of much of our discomfort. We can be horribly mean to ourselves. Often, in ways we may not always be consciously aware of. Think about it for a moment. In any given day, can you even count the amount of times that some negative thought about yourself passed through your mind? Could be a judgement, an unrealistic expectation, some self limiting thinking? Think about how much energy that can drain from your daily life. If your mind is kept busy in a self negative state you probably won’t have the vitality and joy to fully embrace your daily life. I am right there with you!

 How we are with the world is a mirror for how we are with ourselves. Judgements, expectations, rules, and regulations, etc, etc, etc…

So, the question is, are you practicing self compassion? Chances are , not always. Are you practicing self compassion consciously? Maybe , maybe not. But if you have landed on this page , chances are , that you are on a path of spiritual development. If that’s the case, what would be the first stop on this path? Self compassion.

Let’s talk about what it really means to be self compassionate . Seems pretty obvious, doesn’t it? Well, often people confuse it with self centeredness, or being selfish even narcissism. And… not to be confused with self esteem- which can come in to play if you feel that you don’t deserve to be self compassionate. For a further definition check out: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-compassion

Ok – So, How do we improve and practice daily conscious compassion for self?

Why We Need to Practice Self-Compassion

Well for one, it’s starts with awareness.

You will find that in almost every blog I write , I will mention awareness as the starting point. Why? Because it is always the first step in creating self transformation.

We first must become aware of how we are thinking , feeling, doing, before we can make any changes.

With my clients, I often talk about ‘flash card thoughts’ – They are the negative thoughts that come up so quickly, we may not even realize it and then BOOM! What happens? WE stop, we doubt, we get blocked , feel fatigue . Any of those sound familiar? Then what happens? We may feel fear, anxiety, maybe even hopelessness. The outcome: reduced energy, vitality and joy.

An Easy Self-Compassion Practice

How about keeping track of all the ways that you are hard on your self? A suggestion would be to spend a week really focusing on this. Perhaps keep a log, or small notebook, a counter… you decide what works best for you. You may be amazed how often a negative thought pops up. Write down the ones that seem to be the most repetitive.

Those little voices that tell you, ‘you are not good enough’, attractive enough, talented enough, smart enough, not creative…. etc, etc, etc…. Although those thoughts may sometimes feels very true or very real, they are not!

Once you have developed a deeper awareness of your thoughts, YOU have the power to change them.

Finding tools that can support you is really helpful. Ie: meditation, vis-ualizations, writing. To truly transform ourselves is not magic. It takes discipline and de-termination.

Think about what qualities you have or would want in a best friend. Maybe write them down. Some examples; kindness, generosity, warmth, love, loyalty, trust, sense of humor etc…. Whatever is important to you. NOW, ask yourself if you practice those qualities with yourself???

Imagine that ideal best friend is a mirror image of you, always there to support and love you unconditionally. How does that feel? Pretty good I bet…

Be your own best friend. Be kind to yourself. Love yourself and you will find that love extending outward to the world… We need that more than ever…

Patricia Sarnataro

Patricia Sarnataro is a certified coach at Zen Matrix and a member of the ICF who specializes in trans-formations, transitions, mindfulness and wellbeing. She also is a certified meditation teacher. MCC, MP-ELI

SELF COMPASSION PRACTICE

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6 Ways to Keep The Relationship Spicy With In-Home Dating https://zenmatrix.com/6-ideas-to-keep-the-relationship-spicy-with-in-home-dating/ Tue, 08 Sep 2020 14:03:01 +0000 https://zenmatrix.com/?p=1860 “I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.” Henry David Thoreau Did you know that (prior to COVID-19) 28% of millennials prefer to stay in, and a whopping 55% of Americans of all other ages feel the same way? In the midst of our busy lifestyles and …

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“I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.” Henry David Thoreau

Did you know that (prior to COVID-19) 28% of millennials prefer to stay in, and a whopping 55% of Americans of all other ages feel the same way? In the midst of our busy lifestyles and the pursuit of the American Dream, staying in has become the new going out.

But what does that mean for those of us who are in-home dating or in a long-term relationship?

Socialization as a couple is said to allow a couple to move deeper into one another’s lives; becoming inclusive to their inner circle, while forming a bond in which they can walk through life maintaining their individuality while in partnership and love.

Those that choose to stay at home repeatedly fall into comfort ability, which can often result in lack of intimacy, fun, and ultimately, a thriving relationship. So, if your beau’s ideal in-home date every weekend is, “Netflix and chill,” is it a sign of your impending demise?

No. The same as people change, trends change too. And that means so can what creates a thriving romantic relationship. After all, every relationship is unique in its own right, and so logically speaking, every relationship can grow uniquely.

Staying home for your regular date night is totally okay as long as you can maintain strong social interaction and keep things fun and spicy.

Below are six Ideas to keep the relationship spicy with in-home dating

  1. Prepare for your date as if you are going out: Although we are staying in, we want to send the message that this is a special experience that we look forward to. Get ready in separate rooms, if possible; hop in the shower, put on something that makes you feel confident, throw on a little perfume or cologne, and meet in your partner in the living room for the big reveal!
  2. Wear Something Sexy Underneath Your Clothes: Ladies, there’s something about having lingerie underneath our clothes that changes the energy in the room. Don’t tell your partner what you have on. Let them discover that for themselves. It not only boosts your confidence, but gives you the control to up the ante as the night goes on.
  3. Group Dating: Invite people over for some socially-distanced home games, like Cards Against Humanity, or some classic charades! Without a doubt, the easiest way to stimulate conversation and individuality, while encouraging partnership and fun!
  4. Light Candles for Ambiance: You don’t need to go full-out with a nice dinner for a date night. Keep it simple, light some candles to create an intimate space for you and your partner.
  5. Play Music: People are naturally emotional beings. One of the best ways to connect to one’s emotions is through music. Setting the mood with music will allow you both to break away from the worries and to-dos of the day, and be fully present with one another while in the comforts of your own home.
  6. Picnic in the Living Room With Your Favorite Childhood Snacks: Tidy up the rest of the house and get on the floor for an intimate dinner with some of your favorite snacks. This allows you both to sit facing one another and engage eye contact, or cuddle around some yummy food as you share fun stories and reminisce over the treats in front of you.

There you have it! Staying in certainly does not have to mean the end of a fun, loving relationship. So get out there (or in this case, stay in!) and create that amazing love life with your beau. Who knew it could be so comfortable

Jenna Ponaman

Jenna is an expert Relationship coach at Zen Matrix

Relationship Coaching

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How To Believe In Yourself https://zenmatrix.com/how-to-believe-in-yourself/ Wed, 02 Sep 2020 03:02:44 +0000 https://zenmatrix.com/?p=1872 Hanging up the phone with my Mom and I can feel my face is flushed and red as hell.  I’m angry.  Actually, scratch that.  I’m pissed.  I can hear her words echoing in my head and they are so fatalistic, worst case scenario shit I don’t buy into.  Haven’t bought into it in years and …

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Hanging up the phone with my Mom and I can feel my face is flushed and red as hell.  I’m angry.  Actually, scratch that.  I’m pissed.  I can hear her words echoing in my head and they are so fatalistic, worst case scenario shit I don’t buy into.  Haven’t bought into it in years and been doing my own inner work to notice that pattern of thought sooner than later so I can shift it to a more optimistic view, believing in myself.  I grew up fearing the worst would happen and was taught to prepare for the absolute worst possible thing that could happen so I wouldn’t be caught off guard.  Seems like a pretty sound way to approach life and mitigate pain and suffering however I figured out after many trials and attempts that the worst case scenario rarely ever happened.  Actually what did happen was either I felt worried and pain over nothing and the end result was actually good or I worried so much about bad shit happening that something wrong always occurred.  I might have gotten into the school I wanted but worrying about it had manifested getting the acceptance letter late, not being able to buy my books in time for the first day of class and generally feeling like I was starting behind the eight ball.

I began to question, why worry about shit you have no control over?  What purpose does it serve?  What if my focusing on the bad possible outcomes was actually creating them?

These patterns of thought were modeled to me from family and specifically my Mom.  Her intentions were definitely from a good place.  Any parent wants to prevent their child from suffering and experiencing anything bad especially if the parent has already been there and had a bad experience, you want to shield your kid from the same.  I get that.  Makes total sense and it’s a truly lovely idea but in reality, it can create unnecessary pain and suffering.  Why suffer now by worrying now AND suffer later when the bad thing occurs?  I personally don’t feel that serves a productive purpose and is a misuse of our infinite power and energy. 

 Build Your Belief In Yourself

As a business coach and business owner, I continue to have my fair share of unknowns.  That can be scary or empowering depending on your viewpoint and vibe.  As I’ve grown in my skills as a coach, I came up against this mindset to go to the worst case scenario when faced with a problem and I could clearly see it was causing more harm than good for me.  I began to shift my thoughts to what’s possible, thinking to myself “what could go right here?”…  What’s the best possible outcome?  Immediately I noticed I felt lighter with these questions.  I felt better and I don’t know about you but when I feel good as I’m making decisions, those decisions usually end up being damn good ones and my outcomes are way better. Hence beyond anything else, believe in yourself

So back to this phone call with my Mom…we were disagreeing on some things as it relates to our views on abundance and money.  I’m aware that I see things differently and I can hold space for others who view differently.  I’m only ever asking my clients to see if their beliefs about something are serving them or hindering them.  I can only know what’s best for me and me alone.  During this conversation though, my Mom went to the worst case scenario as is her pattern.  Now, I’m not blaming my Mom for her viewpoint, nor am I holding her responsible for how it made me feel (effin pissed off).  I own my emotions and I own my choices.   But let’s be honest, sometimes in life, even your biggest fans and loved ones won’t believe in you or your vision.  That’s cool.  It’s your vision anyway, it’s not theirs.  But that day I was triggered because how I view money as a business owner has shifted dramatically since jumping into the world of entrepreneurship.  That doesn’t mean it stops hurting when your loved ones or friends can’t see it and maybe even say things that are worst case scenarios.  Not everyone has the stomach for entrepreneurship.  Hell, I didn’t have it at first.  But I do now and it feels incredible to know I’m in charge of how I see the world.  I control how I react and respond to life.  I have the power and ability to create the business I love and help others do the same.  People in your life will love you the best ways they know how.  Allow them grace and assume they mean well.  But beyond everything, believe in yourself.  You.  Are.  Worth.  It. 

Brooke Giguere

Brooke Giguere is a Certified Professional Coach, Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner and Infinite Possibilities Certified Trainer at Zen Matrix

Personal Development Coaching

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Trusting The Process https://zenmatrix.com/trusting-the-process/ Wed, 02 Sep 2020 02:38:37 +0000 https://zenmatrix.com/?p=1867 I’m currently running a group program that focuses on ten distinct disciplines, or philosophies, that when adopted and practiced, can have a profound effect on our overall energetic vibration. It begins with Awareness, then Acceptance, and once those two are in place, it leads to the ability of Conscious Choice. As magical as those first …

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I’m currently running a group program that focuses on ten distinct disciplines, or philosophies, that when adopted and practiced, can have a profound effect on our overall energetic vibration. It begins with Awareness, then Acceptance, and once those two are in place, it leads to the ability of Conscious Choice. As magical as those first three disciplines are, the one that comes after is Trusting the Process. This is the one I want to talk about today.

For the past six or so months, the world that we’ve been accustomed to has changed. It may have felt out of control and unfair. For many it has been scary. Our minds are wired to survive, and when we lose the capacity to plan for that survival, well, it’s easy for fear to take over. This not only makes sense emotionally, but it actually makes sense scientifically. You will not hear me make light of these feelings or tell anyone they shouldn’t feel fear. In the right context fear can be a blessing. For instance, if you are attacked, that fear releases adrenaline and gives you the energy you need to fight or run. Even with the new world circumstances, fear may have been the kick you needed to fabricate a new course. Fear serves a purpose sometimes, and I certainly don’t underestimate it

However, it’s also easy to get stuck in fear.

This is when Trusting the Process can really be useful. The simplest way to understand this idea is to consider that every experience has value. Every experience is an opportunity to learn and grow. When you are faced with something that is scary or challenging, how might you handle it differently if you know it’s shaping you and giving you what you need to make you stronger, more resilient? It is a frame of mind where you can accept that whatever is happening is happening FOR you, instead of happening TO you. It is releasing your expectations and leaning into trust – of the process, of yourself, and if you are spiritual, of the Universe or God or Source.

What Trusting the Process is not, is looking back on something that happened and creating a reason around it. Hindsight is 20/20, and it’s easy to accept that something “happened for a reason” once you are out of the situation. Although this can help build resilience for a future challenge.

When you truly Trust the Process, you are able to learn from it while you are in it.

  • What is the situation trying teach you?
  • What do you now know that you didn’t know previously?

Asking these questions in the moment can help you see more clearly and adjust your sails accordingly. Having full Trust that things are happening as they are meant to is a superpower that you can use all of the time to build your faith that everything will turn out okay, and even better than you thought.

No matter how much you plan, life is going to happen the way it happens sometimes. When you release your grip on fighting against it, you immediately reduce stress and think more clearly.

So how will you Trust the Process next time?

Lauren Pla

Lauren Pla is a mindset empowerment coach at Zen Matrix

Mindset Empowerment Coaching

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Transformational Focus During Uncertainty https://zenmatrix.com/transformational-focus-during-uncertainty/ Wed, 26 Aug 2020 23:00:27 +0000 https://zenmatrix.com/?p=1837 It is natural to do our best to make sense out of everything happening in our world both at the micro and macro levels (even when it is business as usual) so we can make it to where we would like be through transformation. As we transition through ambiguous and somewhat uncertain times setting our …

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It is natural to do our best to make sense out of everything happening in our world both at the micro and macro levels (even when it is business as usual) so we can make it to where we would like be through transformation. As we transition through ambiguous and somewhat uncertain times setting our sights on goals and outcomes can be useful…to an extent.

Focus On The Transformational Journey

In fluid times, it may be more useful to ourselves and others when we focus on the transformational journey and how we walk through it, rather than the attainment of an end state, especially when we are navigating the collective ocean during a time when possibilities are shifting. When we are looking to bring about an outcome, we are often searching for a desired feeling in addition to the actual thing we are outwardly seeking. Our desired outcomes motivate us, yet operating from an awareness of what we value and want to feel, is what takes us closer to what we want, especially in a storm. The inner experience is always available if we are willing to be curious about how to create it.

Knowing the core energy behind our thoughts allows us to show up in a way that matches our integrity and meets others where they are. Each moment describes who we are, and gives us the opportunity to decide if that’s who we want to be*

How can we transform our focus?

Control the sail, not the wind. *
In what ways can you align within yourself so that you better serve others?

As I watched the suit shop that I have walked by for the past decade two blocks from my home go up in flames several months ago during a time of rioting in the city, I searched for answers to the whys of the startling and tragic events that have gone on in the past months. While I cannot begin to know the pain of our fellow citizens who have lost loved ones, within myself I have been searching for meaning in it. After hours of not finding any, I became confused and distressed especially when I tried to consider what would happen next.

Then I got quiet and remembered that if I want peace….it starts with me. What’s my action here? Am I to be lethargic, cooperative, or wise? What do I want to feel?

The mind’s default is to find what’s next through problem solving and fact finding. This type of activity can actually create more anxiety. (click here to learn more). Anxiety makes absolute sense when any goal we create becomes a moving target amid a rapidly changing environment, so what do we do? 

1. We identify the feelings that show up for us day to day. (Click here for more information).

2. We identify what we can and can not influence in our worlds.

For the things we can influence, identify the type of influence we would like to have.

Strategy Begins with Transformational Focus. So Make a plan.

Question our assumptions (about ourselves and others).

Meet others where they are.

Take care and take it easy.

Blakely Smith

Blakely is a Certified Professional Personal Growth Coach for Excellence at Zen Matrix

Transformational Journey

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10 Tips On Building An Intentional Mindful Living https://zenmatrix.com/10-tips-on-building-an-intentional-mindful-living/ Tue, 25 Aug 2020 01:01:21 +0000 https://zenmatrix.com/?p=1845 Imagine, for a moment, that you are the person sitting on that dock. What might that feel like ? What are the smells around you? Is it warm or cool? Do you have your shoes on or are your feet submerged in that beautifully calm water. If so, how does that feel? What are the …

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Imagine, for a moment, that you are the person sitting on that dock. What might that feel like ? What are the smells around you? Is it warm or cool? Do you have your shoes on or are your feet submerged in that beautifully calm water. If so, how does that feel? What are the sounds of nature around you? How do you feel in this place? Perhaps more peaceful, calmer, or maybe in the midst of this peacefulness you have become more aware of your inner thoughts or inner chatter.

What is Mindful Living

You just practiced a moment of mindfulness… but how do you sustain it throughout your day, your life? That is the challenge, or what I would say, the opportunity. Let’s take one day in your life and talk about what it truly means to live mindfully. What is mindful living? It is simply practicing awareness of yourself [ body, mind, heart] and the world around you.

Take a moment to think about what this means to you? Perhaps write down some keywords. The next question is, how do we accomplish this? For everyone there will be a different path. I can share with you what I do, but as a transformational coach, my role is to give you the guidance to discover your own path. So, let’s talk about some options and suggestions

Mindful Living In Every Day Life

1]  Having a consistent meditation practice certainly is a great way to set the stage . As a meditation teacher , I could go on about the immense benefits of a daily sitting practice . Right now let’s just stick to some practicalities. We are all beautifully unique. We all are coming from different situations which may or may not lend itself to sitting and meditating even 10 minutes a day . If that is the case then what might be some other ways to develop your mindful life.

2] When you wake up in the morning, how about setting a committed intention to live mindfully throughout your day . Another way to look at it is living with compassionate awareness .The point is, discover your own way of setting the intention first thing in the morning.

3] What can you do to set the stage with a mindful body? After all, if you are on a path of self development and spiritual growth, transformation is a 360 degree process of body, mind, and spirit. My choice is yoga but you may find running, kickboxing, swimming etc… The point is not what you do, but that you do, and make it an intentional doing.

4] while you are doing whatever you are doing try practicing a little sensory awareness ie; really listen to the sounds around you, the smells, the colors and how your body feels.

5] check in with your thoughts. How are your thoughts in any moment? Focused, calm, energetic? Or perhaps you are having a day that you’re thinking process feels more scattered, less clear, maybe there is a lot of internal chatter? Again, the point is, to just observe without judgement , just notice…

6] When engaging with other people, check in, are you really, really listening to them and being present or are your thoughts taking you elsewhere?? Have you ever been sitting in a meeting or class and start thinking about what you will have for lunch or dinner? Hmmm, sound familiar. Just observe….

7] That brings me to when you are eating. How can you practice eating mindfully? Check in and see how you are eating , and again try practicing a little sensory awareness around whatever food you are taking in.

8] one of my favorites is to practice a little loving kindness with strangers throughout the day by simply wishing someone happiness, health, love, peace etc…. Living in NYC, I find myself doing this often when I am on a subway or walking on a crowded street. It is amazing how just giving someone the gift of a positive wish can lift your own spirits. PS; no need to be verbal about it – just think it….

9] Practice just observing yourself , your environment and others without judgement. Hmmm, I find this is a big one for most people as most of the time we don’t even realize how many negative judgement thoughts we have during the day.

10] at night, perhaps set an intention to sleep mindfully. What might that mean to you?

CONGRADULATIONS! You are a path to mindful living with more awareness, more mindful life..

Start small with all or any of these suggestions, just a simple daily intentional mindfulness practice.

You will be amazed how quickly this will turn into good habits and a way of life….

Patricia Sarnataro

Patricia Sarnataro is a certified coach and member of ICF, she is also certified in The Energy Leadership Index, 2 certifications in meditation, TTY-500 hr yoga, and is an artist, designer, creator. Patricia specializes in transition coaching and creative thinking.

Transormational Coaching

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Map of a Self-Development Journey https://zenmatrix.com/map-of-a-personal-self-development-journey/ Mon, 17 Aug 2020 18:46:03 +0000 https://zenmatrix.com/?p=1802 We’ve all seen some version of the meme that shows a picture of what we envision the path to success looks like next to one that shows what it actually looks like. The imagined version is a nice steady straight line slanted upwards when, in reality, success is achieved over a much longer period of …

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We’ve all seen some version of the meme that shows a picture of what we envision the path to success looks like next to one that shows what it actually looks like. The imagined version is a nice steady straight line slanted upwards when, in reality, success is achieved over a much longer period of time and full of twists and turns. We laugh when we see this because we know it’s true for success and for all self-development we’ve embarked upon to this point.  Though the path may not always be smooth and easy, it doesn’t mean there’s no way to grow. In fact, growth occurs many times because of the twists and turns. This is where we stretch ourselves, practice resiliency, and learn what we are really capable of.

I’m not saying that in order for a self-development journey to be truly transformational it has to be unbearably difficult. I’m saying sometimes things don’t go as planned and that there is beauty and growth in those places too. So, what exactly does a self-development journey look like?

I’m so glad you asked. It really is a series of ups and downs and some surprises. It’s not all chaos though, there are fairly predictable waypoints you’ll reach. Let’s go!

WayPoints for a Self-Development Journey

Embarkation:

It all starts here. You make the decision to change. You either know what you’re doing is no longer working for you or you have decided that as nice as life is right now, you want something different. As said in the Tao Te Ching, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” This is that step. It’s the very beginning of the journey. Be it a grand proclamation or a quiet understanding, there is no journey without the decision to embark.

Waypoint 1: At this point you are ridding yourself of old things. Here you recognize what has ended or what needs to end and you proceed to move through that ending. It seems counterintuitive that one of the early steps in this journey is an ending but without getting clear on what has transpired, you can’t move forward with purpose. It’s not uncommon to feel down in this place, to feel that you have limited choices. You may spend awhile here recovering, grieving, or otherwise gaining some closure and sorting things out. Allow the closure and then move on.

Waypoint 2: Here you are evaluating what is important to you so that you can determine the next path to take. You’ll figure out what you truly value in life and how you want to align your next steps with those values. You’re nearly ready to act at this point but don’t rush to action. This foundation stage is critical for determining your direction. There will be some peaks and valleys here but stay along for the ride.

Waypoint 3: Now is the time for action. This is a long stage. You start to move, you put your plans into action, and you do the regular, deliberate work of making the changes you seek. You put yourself into new situations and you are likely meeting tons of new people as your world expands. You are surrounded by new ideas and you try many of them on looking for a good fit. Some will fit beautifully and become part of who you are from here on out. Others will be ill-fitting and you will leave them behind, you may even feel they set you back a little. Nevertheless, keep going!

Waypoint 4: You awaken to a new you. It will have been a slow process but one day you will look back and see all that you have done and be awed by who you have become. You’ll also notice how different the path looked compared to what you had envisioned. From here, you’ll start the next leg of your journey with its own waypoints, peaks, and valleys.

Self-development is a lifetime journey. One that allows you to refine who you are and how you live over time.

What needs to come to you will come in its own time. As the saying goes, “The only reason for time is so everything doesn’t happen at once.”

Where are you on your own journey?

 

Cheryl Burke

Cheryl Burke, CPC, ELI-MP is a Certified Professional Life & Leadership Coach at Zen Matrix, who helps to create a custom plan to reach your Passion and Power

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Challenging Our View of Success https://zenmatrix.com/challenging-our-view-of-success/ Fri, 14 Aug 2020 15:42:28 +0000 https://zenmatrix.com/?p=1817 “I want to be successful.”  Friends and clients alike utter this simple phrase frequently. I love hearing these words and the conversation that unfolds when I inquire further on the view of success. Success is an interesting concept as it is entirely subjective with a definition that varies from person to person. For many people, …

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“I want to be successful.”  Friends and clients alike utter this simple phrase frequently. I love hearing these words and the conversation that unfolds when I inquire further on the view of success.

Success is an interesting concept as it is entirely subjective with a definition that varies from person to person. For many people, measures of success are tangible, distinct endpoints: graduating at the top of the class; achieving a specific job title; settling down with a life partner; completing a marathon; launching kids to college; purchasing a house; starting a business; selling a company; etc. The list is endless.

How wonderful it is to work towards something concrete that serves as a driving force to reach a specific goal.  This can be motivating and move people along a desired path.  

And then what? What happens after achieving the goal? If you have ever felt letdown or some degree of the blues after reaching the summit of the proverbial mountain you were climbing, you are not alone.  It is natural to experience disappointment and wonder “what now?” after the feeling of accomplishment diminishes. 

Getting lost in the endpoint can mean missing out on the experience while it is happening

Sometimes having our eyes on the grand prize can fog our view of the rewards in the foreground. For example, in my quest to climb the corporate ladder, I sacrificed key family activities while my kids were young.  Professionally, I received the promotions and accolades for which I strove. I was successful – – from a career perspective – – and not feeling it. No superpowers or magic wand accompanied my new job title. I was caught off guard by a feeling of emptiness that signaled something was missing. I didn’t know if this void was the space created by no longer channeling my energy into achieving the goal, or a hole in my soul for missing that which I dearly valued – relationships.

Clearly Define Your View of Success

Creating memories with my kids and experiencing key milestones in real time during the fleeting period when I was the center of their universe was more valuable than the impressive paycheck I earned. My definition of success had evolved and I realized that my new meaning was less about professional status and more about being in the moment and living without regret. Success for me was about being a present, engaged parent and enjoying my family. With this epiphany, I pivoted to focus on what I valued most. This does not mean that everyone should quit their jobs to make play dough and visit museums. Rather, this is an invitation to look inwards and be open to self-development and the growth it yields with respect to your personal view of success.

Identifying what success means to you

Defining your vision of success begins by becoming aware of what matters most to you right now. Priorities may shift due to variable circumstances in life so it makes sense that your definition of success today may not be what it was in the past or will be in the future. Second, understanding why your top priorities are important is useful and connects you to your core values. Transformational coaching helps you get in touch with both of these – – the what and the why.

How are you living your best life without regrets?

Andrea Brand

Andrea Brand is a Professional Executive Coach and Personal growth Development coach at Zen Matrix

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