Surrender – The Ultimate Test of Faith

Surrender – The Ultimate Test of Faith

Many of us have read self-help books that talk about surrendering and letting go as a way of de-stressing and stopping our need to control every aspect of life. By digging deep and finding an inner faith that everything will be okay, we are more able to relax and live with joy and ease.

Sometimes, this is easier said than done. Especially if you’ve explored the law of attraction like I have, which teaches us that thoughts become things, therefore often causing us added pressure to keep our mind aligned and disciplined.  Ironically, this takes us further away from simply letting go.

Then what is true surrender? How can we incorporate it into our lives so that it isn’t just a theory but an actual way of being?

For me, it has taken years to truly understand letting go and trusting. It’s easy for us to doubt ourselves or to question whether or not we are on the right path or if we’ve made smart choices along the way.

But here are some simple ways to open up to a more surrendered life. Practice these and you’ll be well on your way to a serene and happy way of being:

  • Look Back– If you’re stressed or worried about a particular area of your life, just look back onto past events that brought you similar angst and recall what the outcome was. Most often, it ended positively without major drama. We mostly fear things that will never come to fruition so with each similar experience that pops up, we should be able to let go more each time without anticipating the worst. Practice makes perfect. Be careful not to spend too much time in the past however, as it can rehash stuff that no longer serves us.
  • Stop Planning – Most people need to set goals and make plans to stay on track. This isn’t a bad idea but be careful not to spend too much time focused on future events or we miss the magic of today. Work on setting intentions and visions for your future but then let go fully and completely. Have faith that the Universe has heard your wishes and that it doesn’t need constant reminders in order to fulfill those very things. Again, trust and let go.
  • Create Space– Each of us requires daily, quiet, reflective time. We need to go inward and tune in to what that quiet voice of intuition is telling us. When we can get still and learn to trust our gut reactions, we will begin to rely on it as our friendly confidant that never steers us wrong. Start focusing more on living from a still and centered way of being rather than from one of analysis. Create mental and spiritual space within.
  • Stop Reacting– There comes a time in our life when we must stop being a victim, reacting to our life’s events. What if there was a higher power guiding us and it had more wisdom than we did? What if we could totally let go and be led somewhere far greater than we even imagined? Stress begets stress. Let’s work on reacting less and easing into whatever is happening in this moment with trust and faith.
  • Calming Herbs – Most of us are programmed from a young age to look at the worst case scenario. This intensifies our fight or flight reactions causing only more upset. Try herbs like Ashwaganda, Rhodiola, and Maca to boost energy while lowering the stress hormone cortisol. Chamomile, Kava kava, Valerian, and Lemon Balm along with Sun Theanine and Gamma Amino Butyric (GABA) also work very well to soothe the body and mind and lessen anxiety.
  • Have Fun – When we can remember to enjoy life, celebrate with friends, and do things that feed our inner child, we immediately begin to let go and live more in the moment. When we are fully present, we are totally surrendered. Having fun and planning outings each week will absolutely help you to relax, release, and regain balance.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Coach Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.om

He is the Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

Choose LOVE Over Fear

Choose LOVE Over Fear

This week, I got to thinking about the motivation behind my passion for health. I realized that some of the energy that I put in, the supplements, organic food, alkaline water, and even exercise, is partly based on fear. Thoughts like “I don’t want to get sick” or “I want to protect myself from that” often sit just below the surface.

Every day I read articles about health and wellness and how we can avoid disease. Studies about cell phones, chemicals, stress, and vaccines make headlines regularly, leaving us confused and sometimes, a little panicked.

If we look at the law of attraction, what we think about expands. While we may be focused on good health and longevity, if the underlying, unconscious message is “I am afraid of getting old,” then the Universe often hears those concerns and may eventually bring us evidence that matches those fears.

I speak a lot about finding gratitude and focusing on the positive and while that isn’t always easy, perhaps it is time to do this with our wellness and lifestyle practices.

For example, when taking your daily superfoods or supplements, quietly give thanks to yourself for the blessing of these vitamin-packed nutrients which will naturally override that tiny voice that says “I have to kill these damn free radicals that are attacking my cells.” The inside conversation can be quite humorous if we really look at it and maybe it is time to lighten up about the entire situation.

I’m all about taking proactive measures that increase our odds of living a long and vital life, but perhaps we can let up just a bit and begin enjoying the journey more fully. We can rest assured that most of our prevalent fears will NEVER come true and the BIG one that we’re all trying to avoid, death, cannot be escaped anyway, so why not LIVE fully now, in love.

Take the time to feel good about things like exercise, sleep, meditation, healthy eating, less cell phone use, unplugging from social media, spending more time laughing and enjoying your friends, and clearing your house of toxic chemicals, but don’t fixate. Instead, find a happy balance while knowing that you are doing the best that you can.  Don’t let your obsessive compulsive nature, anxiety, or fear ruin the joy along the way.

By all means, make smart choices, continue to educate yourself so that you and your family can be protected but then let go! Relax. Breathe. If you can’t afford that latest miracle superfood powder or replacing your home water filters with the latest and greatest, it is okay. You are going to be fine. Our bodies are resilient and what gets us more than the latest cancer-causing chemical, is the stress that we create trying to avoid them.

Honor yourself enough to make everything you do for your health, a positive and loving ritual. Stop, give thanks, bless it and know that the energy that we infuse into each moment is far more vital and life-changing than missing a day of yoga or exercise. Choose love and not fear every single time and what you focus on will expand and grow.

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Coach Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

Back to Basics – 7 Steps to Simplify Your Life

Back to Basics – 7 Steps to Simplify Your Life

Have you ever found yourself saying “I am done with Facebook,” or “I wish I could throw my cell phone into the ocean?” If so, you are not alone. Needing a simpler, less hectic life seems to be on the minds of many. What was once invented to bring us closer together, social media and modern technology only seems to be having the opposite effect. We are lonelier and more isolated than ever.

To top that off, we have busier schedules, we’re eating less healthy, convenient food on the run, and we have added stress which are all recipes for disaster.

But underneath the frenzy of life in our modern world is a more basic existence, one that will help us to find our equilibrium, re-fuel, and remind us to embrace simplicity while experiencing more bliss and joy along the way.

Less Screen Time– If you’re like me, you’re somewhat addicted to checking your cell phone. Many of us feel an impulse to open Facebook and Instagram, or to respond to a recent text or email. These days, people expect us to reply immediately and so we feel an added pressure to do so. Like any habit, we need to learn to break it. Reprogramming your brain to be less impulsive is key but it takes practice. If you’re watching TV or cooking for example, keep your phone in another room and work on being 100% focused on the task at hand. Leave your cell in the car or in your bag under the table during a dinner with friends. In the beginning, you may have to force yourself to be more present but in time, you will create a new routine and in turn, you’ll experience better relationships and more fulfillment.

Back to Basics With Food– Our grandparents had the right idea. Consuming foods as close to nature as possible is imperative to good health. Chopping, preparing, cooking, and chewing fresh, organic food and produce helps us to de-stress and get back to enjoying the simpler things in life. Way too often we eat standing up, on the run, or between meetings. Make the time for family dinners or treat yourself to a home-cooked meal regularly. Shop at your local farmer’s market. Chew slowly, savor each bite, and give thanks for the blessing of the nourishment.

Nature Time– For those of us who are city dwellers, this can be a challenge. Take regular time out in nature.  A nap under a tree or walk on the beach has enormous physical, spiritual and emotional benefits. Standing barefoot on grass or sand, also known as grounding, has been well documented to benefit our overall health. Include time in the outdoors each week with family or friends and reap the rewards of re-connecting with our earth.

Superfoods Vs. Supplements– There is a trend moving away from synthetic supplements towards fresh, organic, and raw superfood powders and capsules. Our body wants a pure and natural diet the way nature intended. Often, artificial supplements aren’t recognized by our body which means they may not be giving us the benefits that we expect. Look for the words raw, organic, non-GMO, and superfoods on labels. Get into the routine of consuming these daily and if you do require convenient food on the run, use these powerful and concentrated immune-boosters in place of processed, fast food.

Do Less– Being a workaholic has probably gotten you far in your career but most of us need to slow down especially if we’re feeling isolated, depressed, tired, or burned out. Often, we don’t realize we’re stressed until it’s too late. Take time NOW to pursue a creative project, rest, meditate, travel, or see a movie. Strive for more balance and don’t wait. Today is the best day to let yourself off the hook and stop pressuring yourself to do so much. Even when you are passionate about your work, down time is always important.

De-Clutter– Many people are side-tracked by all of their stuff. In their off time they are cleaning, organizing, shuffling, or busy shopping for more. While enjoying the many beautiful things this world has to offer is not a bad thing, why not try a little downsizing? Get rid of your old clothes, books, and clutter that is hanging around and getting in the way of your freedom. Extra stuff actually stifles our energy and by clearing things that no longer serve us, we not only make room for new energy, but we also free up physical and energetic space which allows us to feel more focused and calm.

Walk Don’t Drive– This is almost unheard of for those who live in Los Angeles but honestly, would it kill us to walk a few blocks? Do you have any idea what you’re missing by driving everywhere? The people. The local businesses. The neighborhood gatherings. The beautiful nature. They’re all awaiting you. Part of the reason people in larger cities feel isolated is because we spend so much time in our cars. Get out, mingle, walk, say hi to a stranger, make eye contact, and take in the awesomeness of your surroundings.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Coach Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

 

 

 

Is Anger Getting in the Way?

Is Anger Getting in the Way?

Many years ago I decided to try therapy because I was dealing with depression due to the break-up of a long-term relationship. My therapist having known that I felt down for an extended period said “you may feel depressed, but chances are you’re just really angry.” She went on to explain that depression and anger are closely tied together. Although depression can be a clinical diagnosis that requires professional care, it may also be caused by unexpressed anger or resentment towards somebody or something.

She was right, I had been building up resentment towards life for shattering my dreams, killing the storybook ending, and putting out my fire. I had let it build up with no way of expressing it or letting it out which led to a deep emotional pain.

I have since learned that there are healthy ways to express anger so that it doesn’t stew or lead to ongoing feelings of paralysis.

We all have troubling times and our emotions may range from discouragement to depression, or from frustration to feeling so angry that we lash out at those we love or get physically violent.

If you’ve been consistent with your spiritual practice, chances are these episodes will happen less or perhaps not as intense as they once were. But the truth is, life can be a rollercoaster and we have no choice but to go on the ride. It is how we deal with and sit through that ride that creates our life experience.

Studies have shown that ongoing, unresolved anger may lead to certain diseases such as heart attack, stroke, or cancer. There is a powerful link between stressful emotions and our physical health. But the good news is that it’s not too late to do something proactive especially if you’ve been dealing with *extreme anxiety, depression, or anger.

Sometimes when we’re in this state, we don’t feel like doing anything at all. But if you can muster up the energy, here are some helpful actions that you can take to go deeper and uncover these heavy emotions once and for all. When we can gain an understanding and become conscious of their existence, we come to realize that underneath all of it is our natural state of joy, bliss, relaxation, balance, unconditional love, and gratitude.

Exercise – One of the best ways to expel anger is to push yourself through an exercise routine. Running or cardio training is particularly effective at clearing the mind and eliminating negative self-talk. Exercise of any type releases feel-good endorphins and helps us to feel better.

Punch a Pillow – Sometimes anger needs to be expressed and we don’t always have an outlet. The best way to let out the built up tension is by punching a pillow over and over again while screaming at the top of your lungs. What may seem extreme at first, you’ll find will dissipate the anger leaving you feeling more relaxed and calm afterwards.

Breath Practice – I teach both group class and one-on-one transformational breath sessions and along with the breath work, we always let out a few screams during each session too. Deep breathing is the quickest and most effective way to access stifled emotions and pain. It opens the channels for you to heal on all levels of body, mind, and spirit and makes way to feelings of euphoria and bliss.

Meditation – Sometimes meditation can feel agonizing for those suffering from depression or anger because our mind and ego gets in the way. With practice, we can learn to de-clutter our minds and release pent up emotions. Combining breath work with meditation is the ideal combination.

Yoga – Yoga is the perfect mix of physical activity and mindfulness. Find a class that resonates with you and one that you enjoy. Like any spiritual practice, yoga will help to uncover blocks, fears, and unresolved emotion that may have been lingering for years.

Karate – Another great physical activity that helps to release anger is Karate. The combination of physical force and mental focus gets you out of your head and into your center, the core of who you are.

Boxing – While I am not a huge advocate of fighting, a healthy boxing practice, even solo with a bag is an awesome way to expel built up emotion along with giving you a great workout.

Dancing – Movement of any kind often helps with anger. Dancing to your favorite music playing loudly in the background may be just the thing you’ve been needing. Lose yourself in the music and dance like nobody is watching. Research a group called Ecstatic Dance in your area or plan a night out with friends.

Remove Yourself – Sometimes we will need to make physical changes such as leaving an abusive relationship with somebody who pisses us off regularly.  Or perhaps seeking out a new job that has a more positive environment may be just the thing you need to do. Know that you are never stuck in a situation and that forward movement is possible. You just need to take the first steps.

*Make sure to speak with your doctor if you’ve been experiencing ongoing feelings of extreme depression, anger, anxiety, or suicidal thoughts.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Coach Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

Laugh Out Loud – It May Improve Your Health

Laugh Out Loud – It May Improve Your Health

Laughter may truly be the best medicine. Life for many of us has gotten so serious and along with that comes less time to laugh, have fun, and enjoy life.

Dr. Norman Cousins who wrote “An Anatomy of an Illness” was one of the first to recognize the power of laughter in our own healing journey. He proved that as little as 10 minutes of laughter per day can impact your health and your life in dramatic ways.

Since that time, laughing has been shown in numerous studies worldwide to lower the stress hormone called cortisol, and to increase endorphins leading to an instant shift into a more positive state of mind. Laughing may also increase cognitive function in seniors and reduce pain as well.

Just as stress can build up in our bodies and eventually lead to potential disease, laughter may offset that. It acts as a stress reliever and natural anti-inflammatory.

Finding time each day to play, laugh, and socialize has become more important than ever in this isolating world of social media. People aren’t connecting as we once did and more and more, loneliness has set in along with less authentic laugh out loud moments.

if you’re feeling too blue to chuckle, force yourself. Even a fake laugh has been shown to lift the mood and transform your mindset. When you’re down in the dumps, try a phony, exaggerated Hollywood laugh and see what happens.

Just like implementing a daily exercise routine, regular family time, and a spiritual practice, make sure to schedule fun outings, group activities, and time to watch humorous videos. Hey, even playing a practical joke on a co-worker could be just the thing to improve your overall health.

Don’t underestimate the power of what cannot be seen. On a deeper level, laughter is literally healing your body and lowering some of the inflammation markers that have been linked to long-term disease.

Lol has a whole new meaning and has gone from being an overused acronym, to a life-improving verb!

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Coach and Transformational Breath Healer Living in Los Angeles http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!