I had a bad week. After an amazing birthday celebration, I sank low and found myself feeling sad and melancholy with a heavy heart. The feelings have lasted for days during which time I began to beat myself up for wasting time. I started to feel victimized by my mood and frustrated that I didn’t have the energy to get out there and “make things happen.”
This pattern started when I was very young. I was a sick kid and I often felt depressed. I desperately wanted to feel better! I became curious at a young age about how the Body, Mind and Spirit came together to create our overall experience. You name it I’ve tried it, read it, or done it with my continual focus on getting well.
Fast-forward decades later, and while I feel so much better, I still struggle. I get down more times then I’d like to admit and although my physical body has been healthy, I still get tired at times. This has led to a repetitive pattern of thoughts like “what am I doing wrong?” “After all this effort, why do I still feel bad?”
Perhaps you can relate. It seems like so many people are out there talking about their successes, their breakthroughs and their wins and very few are open enough to share what really goes on just below the surface; those feelings of fragility, insecurity, and fear.
How many of you have an underlying problem that never goes away? How many feel that you are broken in some way and need to be fixed? Perhaps it’s a physical ailment that returns under stressful conditions or a constant struggle to provide a good income doing what you love, or a generalized anxiety and depression? Whatever the so-called problem, maybe it is time to embrace it rather than chase it away. Perhaps we can make it our friend rather than something we resist with all our force.
There are important lessons to learn through our pain and struggle. It may often seem that life offers us unexpected and sometimes undesirable experiences. No matter how positive we are, how many warrior weekends we’ve attended or the number of spiritual books we’ve read, sometimes shit happens. And guess what? It doesn’t mean that there we are faulty or that we’ve made bad choices.
Begin paying special attention to those things that aren’t working for you, those seemingly negative thoughts and patterns that you want so badly to disappear. Talk to them. Befriend them. Listen. Forgive. Offer them unconditional love. Treat them as if you would a desperate friend in need. They are parts of you just as much as the awesome award you recently won, the marathon you completed, or the dream home that you live in.
Wellness, health, and life are all about balance. With the good will come some bad. With the ups comes downs. When we work so hard to resist, avoid, and block the negative, we end up beating ourselves up and draining our very life source. We swim upstream rather than going with the flow. We go outward rather than inward where the true acceptance lies.
Today, love and accept yourself unconditionally no matter where you are. Embrace the pain and begin checking in to see what it’s trying to tell you. Be gentle with yourself and know that there is nowhere you need to be other than right here, right now. Be okay drudging through the mud. Begin making self-love, self-acceptance, and life-acceptance a regular part of your day, week, month and ultimately, your life.
Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles
He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!
Life isn’t always easy. Regardless of how many self-help books we’ve read, the number of empowering seminars and warrior camps we’ve attended, sometimes we still suffer. After all, if we were happy and overjoyed all the time, we certainly wouldn’t be able to appreciate the awesomeness of the joyous experiences when they show up.
That being said, I truly believe that we can find more fulfillment, satisfaction, and joy in our day-to-day experiences once we learn the tools of how to live more consciously. I have certainly seen and felt this in my own life and I have witnessed countless others growing, evolving, and moving through stuff that had kept them stuck for years. Once we can delve deeper into the density of our heavy emotions, things often become lighter, brighter, and more surrendered on the other side.
The next time you find yourself in a dark place where you feel paralyzed, unloved, like a victim, or any number of other habitual ways of being, consider these steps which may help to remove some of the glue that keeps you stuck:
1) ACCEPTANCE – What we resist persists. Therefore it is time to accept these struggles fully and completely. In fact, we need to learn to love them. Instead of resisting and trying to move away from the down times, why not look them straight in the face and find out what they are trying to tell you? Every life experience has a message for us. The bad times have an especially valuable meaning. Begin asking your higher self for hints about why you continue this cycle. Listen carefully. The answers will come. Your higher life is calling you and it wants you to let go of these painful times once and for all.
2) SELF-LOVE – With accepting what is comes loving ourselves through our negative patterns. Continually beating ourselves up gets us nowhere! We need to become our own best support system and cheerleaders and we need to learn how to nurture that inner child who really is crying out for our love. Practice makes perfect. Begin catching those negative internal voices and stop them in their tracks. Then turn them into loving and supportive ones. This is the first step towards reprogramming outdated ways of being and letting them go completely.
3) GO INWARD – Take time each day to get quiet. Journal, meditate, read inspirational words, and sit quietly with your thoughts. Ask your Higher Self for messages and signs to lead you into a more positive direction. Trust that you are ALWAYS being guided and find faith in knowing that brighter days are ahead.
4) FIND A HEALER – Whether your suffering is physical, mental, or spiritual, there are people out there who can help. Search. Experiment. Continue to try new healers, doctors, psychologists, coaches, or a multitude of other “angels” who have been sent on our path to help us. Friends can also be there in our time of need but it’s our job to reach out. Learning one new tool or perspective may be just enough to get you over the hump.
5) TAKE ACTION – Once we are intuitively guided, it is up to us to take the physical steps in the direction of feeling better. Most often those steps are the ones that feel most exciting. Listen to your emotions and take baby steps that feel good and the ones which seem like the most logical next step. If you are inspired to take a bigger leap, know that it’s okay to do so. I have learned that the net always appears when you need it most. Understand that growth almost always comes with some anxiety, fear, and angst. When we can learn to accept this as part of the path, we will more quickly see and feel the results that we desire.
6) GRATITUDE – Sometimes the most difficult times to be thankful are while we are in the midst of struggle. We may need to force ourselves to make a list of things that we are grateful for. They are always in our presence, we just need to become more conscious of them. Focus your mind in a positive direction rather than on all those things that you don’t have. Gratitude creates miracles!
Take heart that you are in fact, moving through the heaviness even though it may feel as if you have been here over and over again. What we can’t see during these cycles is what is happening under the surface. The changes. The subtle shifts. The transformation. We cannot stay the same. It is virtually impossible. Just as our cells are constantly renewing, so too is our life. The good news is that although you may not yet feel the improvement today, it IS happening week-by-week, day-by-day, and moment-by-moment. Do your best to enjoy the journey with as much self-love that you can muster. You may just wake up one day and realize that they no longer have power over you.
Jay Bradley is an Anti-Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles
He is the Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!
It’s that time of year again. Summer is approaching and magazines are featuring the latest articles on “bikini fat-blasting tips” and “how to get fit for summer.” While I am the first to admit that I have written many such articles for various publications, I thought it was time to embrace another even more important truth; that we should LIVE LIKE IT’S SUMMER ALL YEAR LONG!
What does that mean exactly? For one, why not start celebrating your body today as you are even if you haven’t blasted all the fat. It’s sort of like using your fine china every day instead of just when company comes over. It’s time to stop postponing our happiness for some far off goal that may or may not be reached.
We have all done this in some form or another. I know I have certainly postponed plans for when I have more money or when I meet that dream mate. Well, perhaps we all need to work on loving ourselves from the inside out and then the outside in regardless of whether or not we’re beach ready.
As a wellness coach, I am the first to speak about getting fit, eating right, and becoming the best version of you that you can be. Along with that however, comes a lot of pressure. Sometimes, the very act of transforming our life while liberating on one hand can also be very daunting. Transforming means that we need to become something other than who we are right now. That takes us away from the present moment and often causes us to miss out.
What if we all surrender just a little? What if we let ourselves off the hook? What about hitting the beach un-waxed, unfit, and unassuming? Maybe, just maybe, it’s time to live fully and completely regardless of where we are at in our fitness or body goals.
Being body conscious can be two-fold. It can mean that we are conscious of putting our best selves out into the world and we become keenly aware of what we are putting into our body…that’s a good thing. But it can also have another meaning; that we are self-conscious of our bodies and feeling less than those who look better than we do.
With summer approaching I suggest that yes, you up your fitness routine, yes focus on eating a healthier diet, yes moisturize, wax, and do whatever it is that you need to do to feel good. But once you have that underway, relax. Breathe. Meditate. Love yourself. Forgive yourself for not being perfect. Embrace your insecurities and those things you feel may be flaws while learning to stand in that quiet confidence knowing that you are always a work in progress. But for today, you will simply “be.”
Now go put on that skimpy bikini, head to the closest pool or beach, and OWN it!
Jay Bradley is an anti-aging & wellness coach living in Los Angeles
He is the author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!
Have you ever felt like an imposter? Have you achieved success in your life only to experience an underlying feeling that people will soon find out you’re a fake? You’re definitely not alone! Numerous people have the imposter syndrome, but few talk about it openly.
According to Wikipedia “the imposter syndrome is a psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments. Despite external evidence of their competence, those with the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved. Proof of success is dismissed as luck, timing, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent and competent than they believe themselves to be.”
I have had intimate conversations with famous friends and they have expressed the same fears too; that some day, people will find out the truth…they aren’t the knowledgeable, talented, and intelligent expert the world believes them to be. Deep down, they feel like an imposter.
I feel this way too at times. Although I am not at the success level that I’d like (the perfect excuse and symptom of the imposter syndrome) and even though I have spent over 30 years studying, learning, and experimenting with health, self-help, and life itself, I sometimes feel that just one more certification or a few more years will give me the edge.
The truth? We ARE READY NOW to shine our light and we DO NOT REQUIRE anybody’s permission or another promotion, certification, or celebrity client to do so.
It is said that Albert Einstein might have suffered from the syndrome near the end of his life: a month before his death, he reportedly confided in a friend, saying “the exaggerated esteem in which my lifework is held makes me very ill at ease. I feel compelled to think of myself as an involuntary swindler.”
How many times have you felt like a fake, a swindler, or simply an imposter? Have you ever felt unworthy? What about lacking confidence or self-worth? If you have, maybe this information will be helpful.
We can begin today, to reprogram our thoughts and begin to change our limiting beliefs once and for all. Learning to love and accept ourselves is the number one solution to overcoming this. We also need to stop comparing ourselves to other people and focus on what our unique gifts are. When we can let go of the need to be perfect and focus on doing the best that we can at all times, we then begin to release the hold that this syndrome has on us.
In spiritual terms, we are ALL entitled to God’s gifts of abundance, success, and whatever it is that we dream of. It is time to begin giving thanks to that very energy which has provided for us instead of judging ourselves for the accomplishments. It is also time to get out of your own way releasing any feelings of ego associated with these successes. Learn to accept these wins as something separate of your personality, and as gifts that have been bestowed upon you rather than ones that YOU created.
We all work hard and life isn’t always easy. Isn’t it time to start truly enjoying our successes and humbly, yet proudly accepting any praise, honors, and abundance that comes with it? What if you’re NOT an imposter but rather a magnificent manifestor who has connected to this source of unlimited abundance, prosperity and love? Now doesn’t THAT feel good?