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Author Archive | joyreichard

Chaos in the Political Arena! Should I Worry?

With all the recent news about the current political chaos surrounding us – doesn’t matter whether you’re red/ blue or somewhere in*between – it’s difficult not to fall into the mass consciousness habit of worry. Yet worrying is the worst thing to do. Worrying keeps your mental focus on what’s not working, or what you don’t have, or what may not be working in the near future. From this place it is easy to fall into the victim role. And victims are rarely successful.

When your mind is occupied with worry, it leaves little room for creative problem solving. Negative thoughts can actually suck you into a low mood, expanding those feelings of lethargy when you feel unmotivated and unproductive. Then your subconscious mind reinforces your low mood by offering up negative thoughts and memories that compound the worry. This is how a person gets stuck in low moods, which can then spiral into depression. Health professionals have become aware of the importance of a person’s mood. It is now commonly accepted wisdom that a positive, calm and happy frame of mind promotes healing. Today, hospitals (including some on the Bay Area) make guided visualization tapes for surgery patients that include positive imagery in order to facilitate their healing and speed recovery.

Worry also creates feelings of lack, limitation, or indecisiveness, generating an inclination for greater caution. Caution can then curtail your willingness to take risks, or try something different, or even explore new or innovative possibilities. These are the very traits you need during challenging times!

In addition, individuals who are worried tend to complain more, seeming to get stuck in worry, which can cause them to be perceived by others as experiencing “hard times,” or not being able to successfully cope with challenging, even chaotic times. This is not a good image for a professional in any career or growing business. Worry, therefore, is not only a useless endeavor, it wastes your time and energy, and it can literally be dangerous to your health, happiness and success.

So how do you not worry? One way is to create a vision of what you want to achieve. In reality YOU create your environment. As a matter of fact, you are in charge of your reality. You can choose to be off-kilter and let circumstances and the chaos of life take charge, or YOU can choose to be the one at the helm.

Take time to focus on what you want to create for yourself. Do you want to be focused and on top of things? Then decide what will help you to do that. If it’s turning off the news, or deciding not to get engrossed in politics, then maybe that is your best strategy for now. Or maybe you’d like to focus on getting involved in a social action group, or signing all those petitions, or getting involved in your local politics. Or you might want to refocus on your business and career instead and put a strategic one-year action plan in place. Or you might want to focus on your own personal growth, or take up that hobby that you’ve always wanted to schedule time for.

Rather than complaining about the chaos, start focusing on what you want to create – whether it is for your community, for the nation, or for yourself. Share your vision and dreams with others and talk about what you are creating. When you start to worry, shift your thoughts to what you can do, or create, or want to improve. Find a friend who you can call to help you stay positive and creative, and don’t hesitate to call them when your thoughts start to go south.

Also, it’s important to remember that everything on earth is cyclical, and that all phases and cycles are temporary. Just like the tide, every ebb is followed by a flow. And the only constant is change! By staying positive you will find it’s possible to be even more creative and innovative than you ever imagined. And you will be more flexible and adaptive to the flow of change. These are challenging times, but you have what it takes to ride the wave and come out on top!

If current times are creating worry and frustrations that are causing you to spend more time being anxious and depressed, then give Joy a call and ask for a 30-minute complimentary consultation to find out how you can start being more positive and happy. Contact Joy today by phone 415-819-9769 or email.
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Creating Sacred Circle

Women love to gather with their friends and have done so since ancient times. Women are relational beings. That means that our relationships are important to us, especially the relationships we have with our circle sisters!

A women’s circle is a gathering of women who sit in a circle and meet on a regular basis to discuss shared concerns and to offer support and encouragement.

Greet old friends and make new ones
Relationships are important for women, and circles provide a natural way for women to gather and create a safe place to greet old friends and make new ones.  In circle women find the confidence to speak freely from the heart and know that they will be heard, if not always agreed with.

Opportunities for personal and collective growth

Group discussions generate new ideas and facilitate new ways of looking at old concerns. Women like to share their stories and experiences, as well as hear others share their experience and wisdom. Time devoted to silent process provides comfortable quiet moments while circle members reflect and sometimes wrestle with personal concerns.  Many times lost dreams are remembered, goals are affirmed, issues are resolved, or insights are materialized.  Circles create a safe place where women can develop close bonds with other women and feel supported.

Opportunities for transpersonal and spiritual growth 

A sacred circle is a gathering of women who wish to explore, express and deepen their understanding of spirituality. It differs from a support circle in that, while support and personal relationships do develop, the participants don’t concentrate their focus on personalities and their personal concerns, but instead focus on broader transpersonal and archetypal themes that affect people’s lives and the world.  These circles also offer women an opportunity to create sacred space in which to do ritual and ceremony.

Honoring the Divine Feminine and the divine spark within 

During sacred women’s circles we explore, define, and honor the feminine principle, explore broader issues of importance to ourselves and humanity, and celebrate the divine spark within each one of us and the Divine Feminine.  We learn about the wisdom of the different goddesses and holy women and how we can apply it to our lives today.

Learning and insights
Learning about the Divine Feminine provides us with insights, expanded awareness, and appreciation of what it means to be female.  This knowledge facilitates our personal growth as we learn to value our own divine nature within.  It teaches us how to have more functional relationships, to be present with our feelings, to honor our bodies and ourselves, to honor women’s life cycles, to live according to our personal values, and to find the strength and motivation to pursue our dreams and goals.  Sharing ritual and ceremony helps build community and strengthens our sisterhood with those who share a love for the Divine Feminine and all that is sacred.

Please join us

During sacred women’s circles women learn about the different goddess archetypes that can inform our lives, relationships, aspirations and goals.  We also share our life experiences, offer support, and deepen our connection with our circle sisters.  Members have an opportunity to experience the Divine Feminine during guided visualizations and to participate in rituals designed to help members internalize and make sacred their circle experience.  The time we share together is enjoyable, gratifying, and uplifting.

If you want to join a sacred women’s circle and live near San Mateo or in the Sacramento area then you are in luck because there is a sacred women’s circle nearby (see below). If you don’t live nearby, but want to create one in your community, then you can order a short book on how to create a sacred circle of your own.

Click here for more information on a sacred women’s circle in the Sacramento Area called “Circle with the Divine Feminine.”

Click here for more information on a sacred women’s circle in the San Mateo Area called “In Her Name Circle.”
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Tips for Staying Centered During Turbulent Times

2f894562-4450-4785-84e5-06f22aa0ee1aDaily each of us is becoming more aware of just how polarized our country has become. Some are applauding our national leaders’ actions; others are horrified and taking a stand by signing petitions, calling State and US Representatives, or are out there protesting. There are also many of us who are just upset, angry, fearful, depressed or anxious on either side of the deep political divide that is daily becoming even more polarized.

No matter what side you are on, these intense polarized states are harmful for you, your community and our nation because polarization knocks you off your center, interfering with your ability to think clearly, stay emotionally balanced, and to act with wisdom and compassion. All of these low vibrational feelings of fear, anger, rage and hate are feeding the mass collective consciousness. It doesn’t matter what your politics are: the negative vibrations feed into the same mass collective consciousness, and this has a negative effect on everyone.

All of this has become very personal because I’m feeling all of these emotions and turmoil myself. I’m trying to stay centered, but recently it has been very hard. That’s why I was grateful when my friend and spiritual mentor, Terry Attwood, shared these following tips from Wall-of-us Weekly Actions on how to stay centered when things get difficult. I needed these tips – and I thought you might benefit from them too.

I’ve re-worked some of the following suggestions with the intention of making them accessible to both sides of the divide that’s polarizing our nation. Please read them. They were prepared by a licensed therapist. We all need a little self-care right now. While the world around us may seem unpredictable, you still have the ability to ground yourself by building predictable and safe habits.

1) Be gentle with yourself. Give yourself breaks from ruminating about the actions of our national leaders and the people’s response about what is to come. Sit on the floor with your cat. Lie on the ground and look at the clouds. Or blast some music in your home and dance your butt off. If you don’t have that kind of time, or space, give yourself a minute to think of all your favorite movies, or songs, or the best kisses you’ve ever had. (I personally like this last one. I’ve had some great kissers in my life!)

2) Air your concerns. Talk to like-minded friends about your fears or worries. Make a pact that whenever something happens on the national platform, or someone says something seemingly insane, you can be each other’s sounding boards. Make a pact to not escalate into a heated, hate-filled discussion, but to listen and empathize.

3) Get physical. Walk, run, swim, play soccer, skate, or whatever suits you. Get out of your head and into the sensations of your body. As you exert energy, see if you can expel negativity that you are carrying from the latest news.

4) Use mindfulness techniques. Sit quietly and focus on your breathing. Slowly take in a deep breath, hold it, and then exhale very slowly. Try to relax your shoulders and muscles as you do this. Close your eyes and notice the thoughts, feelings, images, and bodily sensations that emerge. If you notice that your mind wanders, name what it’s wandered to (your shopping list, to do list, etc.), then see if you can redirect your focus back to your breath. Allow any emotions (for example: joy, sadness, fear, excitement) to be present without judgment. Let the feelings move through you. Return to your breath.

5) Be grateful. Every day talk to a friend or write down something(s) for which you are grateful. Being grateful is a way of having power. No one, not even our national leaders, or parents, or friends, or colleagues, or an angry populace, can take away our genuine gratitude.

6) Pray to your higher power and to the guides and masters who are working with our national leaders. Ask that our leaders be blessed with the wisdom, discernment, compassion, and insight to make the best decisions that will serve the highest good and be of the greatest benefit and joy for our nation, the people, humanity, and our great mother, the Earth.

I wish you balance, centering, discernment, inner peace, love and compassion as you walk your journey on this earth plane during these turbulent times.

If you are having difficulty staying centered, positive, and hopeful, then call Joy for a complimentary 30-minute consultation. Learn how Joy can help you maintain balance, clarity, and a positive attitude so you can be the most effective YOU possible, even during challenging times. Call 415-819-8769 or email Joy today!

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Reclaiming Your Feminine Sensual Self

Outdated gender stereotyping is up for everyone right now. Women around our nation, with sisterhood support around the globe, stood up and took a stand on January 21, 2017 for women, women’s rights, equality, justice, and for women’s values, concerns and issues. More than one woman held signs saying women’s rights are human rights. And many enlightened husbands, brothers, sons and grandsons were out there with their women protesting right along with them. It’s time to co-create a new view of the modern woman. The old gender stereotype is being toppled by a lot of ‘nasty’, vocal women who are determined to be seen in a new way!

Gender stereotyping, unfortunately, is still occurring in our society. One of my clients, a very savvy twenty-something, shared with me that her supervisor pulled her aside and told her ‘not to be so emotional’ after giving a talk on a project she was passionate about. Not one to be easily intimidated, my client pointed out to him that he would never accuse one of her male colleagues as being ‘too emotional!’

It’s no secret that our dualistic culture assigns gender designations to certain behaviors and traits. According to the famous psychotherapist, Carl Jung, both men and women possess traits that are often assigned to the opposite gender. Jung designated them according to these terms: the inner-feminine, or anima, for men, and the inner-masculine, or the animus, for women. The inner-feminine helps men feel compassion and love, to be reflective, intuitive, and receptive. For women, their inner-masculine aids determination, active doing, courage, the willingness to face challenges, and the desire to venture out into the world. A person is in balance when they have a good relationship with both their masculine and feminine selves.

I work with many women entrepreneurs and business women who have successfully engaged their masculine active/doing sides. They are out there doing their work: supervising, selling, leading, networking, marketing, etc. Some are doing great! Others haven’t been able to find the right formula for success, or for getting that steady flow of clients. They are doing everything right… but something’s off.

For the latter, I often wonder if they are sacrificing their full sensual feminine self by sliding too far into their ‘inner- masculine’. When a woman becomes too ‘male-identified’, she can be perceived as abrasive, full-tilt assertive, and even overpowering. Too often we women think we have to be as good as a man or even better in order to be successful. This can actually be counter-productive.

Male identification, I believe, is a feminist backlash in a society which still favors masculine qualities and ways of thinking. It’s time for women to let go of the past, reclaim our full feminine self, and step into the future. This is what the Dalai Lama was talking about when he said the world would be saved by the Western woman: that we women have work to do. There’s no time to be hung up on an old paradigm that keeps women, and men, stuck in an outdated belief system of gender stereotyping.

During my own journey I came to realize that when a woman owns her inner-masculine, she has a greater chance of being successful in the business world. When a woman sacrifices her feminine self, however, it can leave her feeling disconnected from the true essence of who she is. Then a woman can come off as appearing abrasive instead of assertive, as bitchy rather than as ‘taking a stand’, as ‘being just like a woman’ when passionate, or as too ‘touchy-feely’ when showing empathy or compassion. I’ve also heard way too many tales of women being negative or demeaning to each other in the work-place, rather than being supportive and collaborative.

Part of this derogatory labeling of the female comes, I believe, from the wounding of feminine sexuality. Should we be the good wife and mother, the sensual lover, or take the lead as the seductress? Why do we have to be one or the other, instead of having the freedom to play all three when we choose? And why does the sexual female and the seductress have such a scandalous reputation? In ancient times sexuality was sacred. Women were respected, honored, and viewed as the living representatives of the Goddess on earth. Why shouldn’t women be as equally honored today?

Another reason for the denigration of women is because we have the bad rep as the “weaker sex.” In reality, and in so many ways, the feminine is the more powerful, resilient and resourceful gender. I watched my mother-in-law hold everything and everyone together when my father-in-law went through several major health crises, while her adult sons were almost paralyzed by worry, fear, and their personal grief. This strength is more common than we women are credited for. It’s the old paradigm that keeps women stuck in stereotypical roles that are both no longer relevant and are way too confining for contemporary times.

Don’t misunderstand me and think I’m placing blame on men. Men have their own challenges in our dualistic culture. In this lifetime, however, I am on a mission to help women reclaim their Full Sensual Feminine Self!

That’s why I’ve been leading the In Her Name Circle in San Mateo since 2008. (Click here for more info.)  And it is the reason why, now that I’ve moved to Fair Oaks CA, that I am starting the Circle with the Divine Feminine. (Click here for more on that.) From my years of leading women’s circles I have found how important it is for women to have a safe place to gather, share stories, learn about the Divine Feminine, and to realize that they each carry a spark of the Divine within.
If you live close to either San Mateo, CA or Fair Oaks, CA, please sign up for one of the meetups and come circle with us. We would love to welcome you into our sisterhood.

If you are struggling with insecurities or self-doubts in our highly polarized society please contact me for a complimentary 30-minute consultation. I see people by phone, video-conferencing, on in person in my Fair Oaks office. Contact me today by email or call 415-819-8769
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Rehabilitate Your Inner Bully

Have you ever been on a walk on a beautiful day or sitting in your car stuck in traffic with your mind in neutral when all of a sudden you’re plagued with an unpleasant memory? The kind in which you did or said something stupid, or made a mistake, or didn’t perform as well as you should have. One minute everything was OK. The next moment you are filled with shame, guilt, regret, etc. I call these negative memories the ‘bloopers.’ We all have them – memories from our past that dredge up conflicting feelings and old hurts. These memories can be quite debilitating if we don’t know how to turn them around.

Buying into the Story
I remember one college student who was placed in a ‘learning challenged’ program in high school. I quickly realized that his real challenge was less about him being ‘learning challenged,’ but rather that he had bought into the story and, at his core, now believed he was ‘challenged.’ This label created feelings of inadequacy and of ‘not being good enough’ which progressed into states of anxiety and overwhelm whenever he was in a learning situation. This included everything from simple studying, to class participation and actual test taking. His own inner dialog was now bullying him into staying self-identified as ‘learning challenged.’

The Inner Bully
According to Webster, a bully is “a quarrelsome, overbearing person who badgers and intimidates smaller or weaker people.” This is exactly what our inner bullies do – they badger us into staying small. Real life bullies can be spiteful and mean. Our inner bullies just don’t know any better. No one has ever given them a larger vision of who they can become. Our inner bullies strive to keep us small because that is what is familiar and feels safe – what one of my mentors and colleague, Megan Wagner, calls our SMALL self. In reality, during our life journey upon this planet we develop lots of skills, talents and abilities that can help us grow into a much bigger version of our self -our BIG self. This larger vision of who we can become, however, can end up frightening us. Then we can become so intimidated that we end up working double time to keep us small. That part that beats us down is the Inner Bully!

We can stop this battle with our Inner Bully by rehabilitating them. Each experience in our life has the potential to be a valuable lesson. Unfortunately our Western culture is too focused on results, perfectionism and ‘doing it right.’ We don’t give enough credit to the valuable lessons that come from our mistakes. Instead they become the ‘bloopers’ that keep us cycling back into our SMALL selves.

It is time to change the story!

Rehabilitation Process
Next time one of those bloopers encroaches on your mental space – STOP and take a deep breath. Then step back and, from a larger perspective, look at that memory that has triggered your feelings of guilt, shame, regret or hurt. Ask yourself, “What did I learn from this experience?” or “What can I still learn?” View it as an opportunity to learn something valuable, as a gift of insight.

Then, once you have gleaned all you can from your reflection, send a little love and forgiveness (or ask for forgiveness) back to both yourself and whoever else might be involved. This process, though focused on the past, will help you heal in the present! It will help you stop the self-battering so you can begin appreciating yourself and your life lessons.

You may want to know what happened with my student. I taught him some anxiety reducing tools, gave him some self-esteem enhancing visualizations, and helped him understand and appreciate how his mind processed information. It took some time, but he was able to change his story and step into a larger vision of himself, ending the semester with 3 A’s and 2 B’s!

If you need help putting down your battering rod and rehabilitating your inner bully, please contact me. I offer 30-minute free consultations and would love to help you step into your BIG self. Call Joy at 415-819-8769 or email Joy today!

 

For more information, visit my website here.
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5 Tips for Keeping Your New Year’s Resolution

It’s easy to make those New Year’s Resolutions. Keeping them is a totally different matter. Too often by February many of us are back to the same old habits and behaviors. There are millions of pounds not lost, thousands of gym memberships lying fallow, and way too many cigarette packs being sold. Some of you may be thinking “why even bother with those New Year’s resolutions this year.” In the battle of wills, we always seem to be on the losing side!

So, what if you knew that there was a way to keep those New Year’s Resolutions?
 
Are you curious?

IT IS POSSIBLE to keep those resolutions and change your life! You just need a new strategy that will help you stay on track. Here are five tips on how you can make your New Year Resolutions stick.

Visualize

It’s hard to make any kind of change if you only rely on your conscious, rational mind.  You can have all the right reasons, but if you don’t engage your subconscious, then long lasting change will be difficult.

Think back to the last time you were able to make a significant change in your life. You may have daydreamed or fantasized about what it would be like before you even took action to make that change.

Our habits and behaviors are stored in the subconscious, and the subconscious is resistant to change. Logic and rationale alone aren’t enough. You must communicate with your subconscious using both images and your imagination if you want change to happen. This is the very same stuff our dreams and fantasies are made of!

So when you are working on your New Year’s resolutions, allow yourself to delve into your imagination! Take time to create vivid images of those things you want to change.

Empower Your Resolutions with Desire

Visualizing is important. But you also have to fuel your resolutions with the proper emotion.

Incorporating emotions is like adding color to a black and white movie. It fuels your goals with depth and power which will help bring your intention into form.

For example, if you want to increase how much you exercise because you think you should exercise more, your resolution will be short lived. This is because there’s no internal fuel to keep the desire alive through the boredom, distractions, and the busy lives we all seem to be leading. However, when you imagine how much better you will feel, how much more energy you will have, and your improved self esteem – then you’ll have the inner fire that will guarantee success.

The Importance of Passion

My grievance with The Secret is that it infers that manifesting simply involves visioning what you want, feeling the emotions of having it, and sitting around waiting for it to happen. WRONG! – Envisioning your intentions and fueling them with emotions is central to successful manifesting! But doing the work, and taking action, is a must!

Self-discipline, however, is not about ‘banging your head against a wall.’ It does require, however, that you are committed to doing the work, being consistent, and following through.

This is where passion comes in. Doing the work can be grueling if you aren’t passionate about what you’re trying to accomplish. A runner can feel lukewarm about running, but will run anyway because they know it will help keep their weight down and build sustaining power.

On the other hand, a runner can feel passionate about running because they love the feel of strength in their legs, the speed of gliding over the land, and the ‘high’ of stretching their endurance to capacity. It’s the passion that fuels long lasting change. It’s like adding HD to a movie.

Achievability and Believability

Sometimes our New Year’s resolutions fall short even though we visualize the outcome, feel the success of having it, and energize it with passion. This is because deep down inside we don’t believe it’s possible.

When this happens we’ve usually taken “the sky’s the limit” track, rather than making our resolution achievable and believable. Maybe you won’t win a triathlon. But, maybe you can find a running buddy who inspires you to get out and run several times a week. Maybe you can’t run five or ten miles, but you can start with a mile or two.

Doing what is believable and achievable is enough. It helps you overcome the self-defeating thoughts of “I’m not good enough, so why even try.”

Stay Positive

Implementing new behaviors can bring up a lot of emotions.  Believe it or not, there is a part of us that assumes keeping everything the same is in our best interest.  So even when you really want to change you may feel tired, bored with the effort, irritated because you aren’t doing it right, or it’s taking too long, or you may even feel anxious. These are resistances, and they are normal. But they don’t need to stop your progress!

Cravings, resistance, and negative self-talk … it’s all going to happen when you’re trying to make a change. So when you have these thoughts or feelings, just acknowledge them as old behaviors and habits. Then focus on how good you’re going to feel when you achieve your goal, or succeed at putting into action your new behavior or habit. I’m focusing on losing those 6 pounds I put on over the year. I already know how good I’m going to feel when I can zip up those pants again! That’s what is keeping me on track.

By implementing these five simple tips you’ll find that you can keep those New Year’s Resolutions with greater resolve.  Remember to:

  1. Visualize
  2. Empower with desire
  3. Infuse with passion
  4. Make your resolution achievable and believable
  5. Stay positive
If you find that you still lack the motivation to accomplish your goals, please contact me for a free 30-minute consultation to see how transformational life coaching with hypnotherapy can help you achieve success in 2017.

Call Joy at 415-819-8769 or email me at joy at joyreichard dot com today.

For more information, visit my website here.
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Be S.M.A.R.T with Planning Your Goals for 2017

With all the hustle and bustle of the Holiday Season who has had time to focus on goals for the New Year? I barely got my shopping and gift wrapping done before the big day. How about you?

With the big push for Christmas out of the way it’s now time for reflection, assessment, wrapping up of the old year, and gestating ideas for the New Year. Now I finally have time to review what I’ve accomplished this year, and to begin setting goals and objectives for next year. Yep! I’m finally making plans for 2017!

As busy as the Holidays are, taking time out for reflection and assessment helps me end the year with a sense of completion. It helps me stay grounded and focused during the whirlwind of activity and fun with family and friends. Then when New Year hits I can truly celebrate because I’ve already been gestating my goals and objectives. I know where I’m heading and what I need to do in 2017.

I highly recommend this introspective practice of making plans for the New Year. The benefits you reap are much greater than the time it takes!

If you’re curious about the process, I’d love to share what was given to me by one of my mentors.

First, find some quiet time where you do nothing but reflect and think. For me, the best time is during meditation. You might prefer a leisurely walk along the beach or hiking trail, or sitting quietly with a latte at a local coffee shop … Whatever works for you is great, but the idea is to set aside time to be alone with your thoughts.

Then let your mind float over what you have completed this year and fantasize about what you’d like to do next year. I’m reaching a point that if something feels too hard, or too much work, I pass on it. Instead let your mind float to those things you feel excited and enthusiastic about. You can tell what they are because you’ll start feeling energized and the juices will start flowing! I find that when I reach this stage I can’t wait until I can sit down at my computer, or with pen and paper, and start jotting down ideas!

This leads to the third step in the process. Now it’s time to start putting those goals, projects and ideas on paper. Don’t worry about the order or time frame. At this point just do a ‘brain dump.’ Sometimes you might get it all down at once. Other times you might find that you’re updating, revising and expanding your list over several days. It’s all good. Your primary focus is to get down all the ideas and goals that feel exciting and energizing.

Once you have all your ideas down, then start organizing them into goals and the steps, or objectives, that need to be completed in order to achieve them. They should be S.M.A. R. T. goals.

What’s a S.M.A. R. T. goal?

Specific – This means you should have a clear understanding of what it is that you will do and what the end product will look like. For example, last year my goal was to do a weekly e-zine providing useful information to my following. A weekly e-zine is a specific goal, and the e-zine itself is the end product.

Measurable – This means you should have some idea as to whether you will meet the goal or not. For example, I’ve been about 75% successful in getting out a weekly e-zine. Considering I’m human and have a busy schedule, I feel pretty good about this success rate for the first year of trying to execute this kind of an aggressive goal.

Achievable – This means that there is a high probability that you can be successful at achieving your goal. For example, since I’ve been about 75% successful in getting out a weekly e-zine, then it was an achievable goal.

Relevant – This means that your goal should serve a purpose, or have an impact. For example, my purpose was to share useful information. Frequently I receive positive feedback from my readers which validates that my e-zine has relevance.

Time-Oriented – This means, “When will you achieve this goal? What is the start and end date?” For example, the time-bound goal for my e-zine was ‘weekly.’

Evaluating your goals to make sure they are S.M.A.R.T. will help you stay practical and reasonable about what you can accomplish so you don’t fall victim to overwhelm and burn out, get sick, or give up!

Once you’ve evaluated your goals, then start organizing them into 3, 6, 9, and 12 month goals. Now it’s time to begin identifying and scheduling weekly steps or objectives. At this stage I tend to drill down the weekly objectives for just 3 months at a time. I always keep the larger perspective in mind, but I’ve found that ‘life happens while we’re busy making plans to do something else.’ Goals and objectives often need to be fine-tuned and re-evaluated as the year progresses. One year I had knee surgery, another year I fell in love (not a good excuse for getting knocked off track, but I had fun!), and another year the recession hit. It’s important to keep some flexibility in your schedule so you can adapt and re-assess as needed.

Set a time to review your goals and objectives weekly. This will help you stay on track with the little objectives so you can hit your targeted big goals in a timely manner. Mondays are a great day to do this. It’s the first day of the week. A quick review of what’s on your schedule on Mondays will help you stay on track so you can have a productive week, and a prosperous year!

With everything else that you have on your schedule, I can hear many of you groaning about having one more thing to do! But I promise you. If you take time to do this, not only will you complete your year on a high, but you will ensure that you have a more successful, prosperous, and happier New Year.

Next week I will be giving tips on how to manifest for the New Year, so stay tuned.

If setting your goals and objectives for the New Year feels too overwhelming, then give me a call and schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation to find out how I can help you get organized and on track for a prosperous New Year. Call Joy at 415-819-8769 or email me today!
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My Holiday Gift to You * Love and Light Visualization with Mother Mary

Mother Mary has been with me this last month as we approach both the celebration of Solstice, which celebrates the birth of the Divine Child, and Christmas which celebrates the birth of Jesus, the Christed One.

I was inspired to gift you with a “Love and Light Visualization with Mother Mary” which I created a few years ago in honor of her. You will find the link below.

Debates and discussions about the nature of Mother Mary have raged on for 2000 years until in 1965 when a Catholic Council called the Vatican II demoted Mary to little more than a Nazarene housewife, a country woman, a human vessel that served as the gestating container for a divine seed, and little more. Yet in the hearts of the people, as she has been depicted in art throughout the ages, there has been a longing to connect Mother Mary with the Great Mother whose compassion and mercy comforts, supports, and nurtures those who seek her out.

Mother Mary has filled the void of the Mother Goddess that I believe is central to our human collective unconscious. Since Paleolithic times, humans have honored the Great Mother. Within 500 years after the Divine birth of Jesus, as the cults of Isis, Cybele, Artemis and Diana dwindled along with the Roman Empire, the ancient goddess temples were rededicated to Mother Mary. Even the imagery of the older goddesses was passed on to Mary.

In addition, visitations of Mother Mary have been cited 21,000 in the last 1000 years. These visitations of the Blessed Mother strongly support the need of the Sacred Feminine principle that lives in our collective psyche.

The importance of Mary is more than her stature, her part in history, religion, or culture. It has to do with ones relationship with her – the ‘knowing’ experience of her compassion, mercy and grace. It is a felt experience that can’t be expressed with language or logic. Her image as Queen of Heaven and as the Great Mother Goddess archetype endures because it continues to persist in our collective human unconscious.

The Great Mother will prevail. She has survived 5000 years of patriarchy and 4000 years of the worship of the monotheistic male God. She will survive because she is part of the balance of nature. Nature always settles to its equilibrium.
The fulcrum under patriarchy pitched far to the right. It is now floating back to center so the divine feminine principle can re-take her rightful place beside the divine masculine principle.

The Great Mother is present in the image of Mary, the Mother of the Divine Child who brought Christ Consciousness to aid humanity in its evolution.
May this visualization with Mother Mary surround you with love, light and peace.

Click here to download…
Audio recording: Love and Light Visualization with Mother Mary

Have a fabulous Holiday Season!
Many blessings,
Joy

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Jennifer Berezan’s
Revised Version of the Hail Mary Rosary

From – She Carries Me

Holy Mother full of grace,
Power is with thee.
Blessed are you,
Queen of the Universe
And blessed is all of creation.
Holy Mother,  
Maker of all things,
Be with us now and always.

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Tips for Avoiding the Holiday Blues – Part Two

For many, the holidays bring up nostalgic memories of family fun and good cheer. For others, it can be a time of loneliness, sadness, and depression. Unfortunately, the holiday blues are a very real phenomenon.

Here are some of the risk factors of holiday depression, and how you can avoid them!

Comparing Your Insides to Someone Else’s Outsides
Both in real life and on social media, it can be difficult to avoid comparing yourself with others around Christmastime. If you have a less-than-perfect family, a past trauma from this time of year, or just a less-than-full holiday dance card, comparing your holiday experience with those of others is a recipe for increased sadness and isolation.

Often, these comparisons tend to be skewed — and they tend to make us feel bad about ourselves. That’s because a person’s basis for comparison is not based in reality. Why? Because – bottom line – most families have issues! And most people didn’t have the perfect Christmases that they would like to have had, or even remembered that they had.

Slacking on Self-Care
For many people, December is the busiest time of the year. When work pressures pile up and the calendar gets full with social obligations, the routines that normally keep us healthy and happy — yoga class, morning runs, healthy home-cooked meals, a meditation practice — are usually the first thing to fall by the wayside.

In addition to increased stress, eating poorly and drinking excessively can also exacerbate issues like stress, anxiety and depression.

Take care of yourself and don’t abandon healthy habits. Don’t let the holidays become a free-for-all. Overindulgence only adds to your stress and guilt.

Try these suggestions:
  • Have a healthy snack before holiday parties so that you don’t go overboard on sweets, cheese or drinks.
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Incorporate regular physical activity into each day.
I would like to emphasize the importance of avoiding binge drinking. Alcohol is everywhere during the holidays! If you’re struggling with feeling down, it may be wise to avoid drinking as much as possible because alcohol is known to worsen, not relieve, symptoms of anxiety and depression.

No “ME” Time
Make some time for yourself. Spending just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do. Find something that reduces stress by clearing your mind, slowing your breathing and restoring inner calm.
Some options may include:

  • Taking a walk at night and stargazing.
  • Listening to soothing music.
  • Getting a massage.
  • Reading a book.
Experiencing Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
If you tend to start feeling down when winter approaches each year, and those negative feelings don’t go away after the holidays are over, you may have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Many people who think they are suffering from a case of holiday blues may actually be suffering from SAD, a form of depression that’s brought on by the change of seasons. Many people miss the exposure to natural light and can sink into sadness. But SAD shouldn’t be dismissed as mere “winter blues” — talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing symptoms of the disorder to find a treatment that works for you. Also you might look into full spectrum lighting. Full spectrum lighting duplicates the visible wavelengths of sunlight at noon and uses both high clarity and balanced color phosphors. It has helped many people overcome SAD.

Family Grievances and Conflict
The holidays are a great time to be tolerant and set aside differences. Try to accept family members and friends as they are, even if they don’t live up to all of your expectations.

Declare an amnesty with whichever family member or friend for whom you feel past resentments. It’s seldom helpful to tell your relative about every resentment on your laundry list of grievances, especially during the holiday celebrations. And don’t let your relative do that to you, either!

Try to be understanding if others get upset or distressed when something goes awry. Chances are they’re feeling the effects of holiday stress and depression, too.

If you know there are going to be conflicts, prepare a neutral response, such as, “Let’s talk about that another time,” or, “I can see how you would feel that way.” Then escape to the restroom, offer to help in the kitchen, or go hang out with the kids. And it always helps to call a good friend if you need a sympathetic ear.

Post-Christmas Credit Card Bills that Put You in a Tailspin
To avoid the after Christmas sticker shock create and stick to a budget. Before you go gift and food shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend. Then stick to your budget. Don’t try to buy happiness with an avalanche of gifts.

Try these alternatives:
  • Donate to a charity in someone’s name.
  • Give homemade gifts.
  • Start a family gift exchange.
I have a large extended family. Years ago we decided to have a family Christmas get-together the Saturday before Christmas with a family gift exchange. We set a price and it’s been working great ever since. It’s made my life easier, and we still enjoy the Holiday fun!

Missing the Holiday Action

Feeling like you are under-scheduled or under-planned for the holidays?

This is a great time to help others, and make some friends while doing it. Volunteer to serve holiday dinner at a homeless shelter. Work with any number of groups that help underprivileged or hospitalized children at the holidays. Sing in a choir that visits hospitals or senior residences. There are many opportunities for doing community service. No one can be depressed when they are doing community service. Helping others can be a great high, and it builds self-confidence too.

If the holidays are challenging for you, please contact me at 415-819-8769, or email Joy@joyreichard.com for a complimentary 30-minute Consultation. Find out how Healing with Joy can help you have a merrier holiday season.

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The Compassionate Spiritual Activist.

When I think about activism I’m taken back to my own days in the 60’s when protest marches were common place. I remember the angry fists raised in the air and loud voices over megaphones blasting out about injustices.

When I think of the spiritual activism I think of Martin Luther King and his non-violent protests that brought out the masses and lobbied for transformation and civil rights reform. I also think of Mother Teresa, that little body of fierce compassion and conviction who swayed the conscience of the powerful to support her causes.

Spiritual activism is not about religion, or even about being religious. But it is about being willing to take a part in creating change – and to play that part with the spirit of compassion, love, a sense of the interconnectedness of all beings, and the determination to stand on conviction.

In Buddhism, they hold sacred the tenets of compassion, mercy, altruism, and loving kindness, among others. According to some strains of Tibetan Buddhism, practitioners will meditate on Tara, a female deity, to develop these qualities. Believing that everyone can achieve enlightenment, Tibetan Buddhists claim that Tara can remove obstacles that get in the way of personal growth and the cultivation of activism.

Tara was said to be born from the tears of the Hindu Lord of Compassion, Avalokitesvara. He dedicated his existence to rescuing all humans from suffering. But eons ago it was a very bad age with people behaving terribly to one another. Just as he rescued one person, another would fall. He became frustrated and began banging his head against a wall from the futility of his efforts. Because he was blessed by the Buddha, instead of wounds or bruises, two large eyes emerged on the back of his head. From the eyes tears fell. From the tears emerged Green Tara and White Tara.

Green Tara pledged to help by removing obstacles from the path of humans so they could walk the path to enlightenment with greater ease. White Tara vowed to help humans by increasing their fortunes and extending their lives. Together they help Avolakitesvara making it easier for us humans to receive blessings and to achieve enlightenment.

These deities serve as models for us about the meaning of compassion and spiritual activism. They have the altruistic mindset of service, not for personal fame or aggrandizement, but because they care about our human condition. They want humans to live better lives so they in turn will become enlightened spiritual activists who work for the betterment of humanity. The Taras stay focused on the positive, on what they can do, continually helping us to overcome obstacles, especially our negativity, so we can envision a better world for all.

The Taras understand that all beings are interconnected. When one human achieves enlightenment and can live more in a spirit of compassion, then they have a positive influence on those they touch, raising the vibrations of people around them. As one of us becomes more compassionate and caring, then they demonstrate to others the power of compassion and the importance of standing up for your convictions.

Look at both Martin Luther King and Mother Theresa, two humans who strove for enlightenment, embraced compassion for their fellow beings, and pledged their lives to work towards their convictions. One human can inspire others and start a movement for peace, freedom and equality.

It’s also important to note that each Tara had their assigned tasks. They did not take on everything, like so many of us humans try to do. They chose selectively where to put their efforts rather than being all over the board. It’s important for us to also use wisdom and discernment when we select a cause to fight for. When we focus, we can apply 100% of our efforts and thus have a chance to make a difference. When we splinter and apply our efforts among multiple causes, which are all very important, we dilute our effort, and end up making minimal impact. This is an important truism for all of us to keep in mind.

Take time to reflect on the lessons from Green and White Tara. Become a spiritual activist; take a stand and make a difference. But come to your activism with an altruistic and compassionate heart. Remember to focus on the positive. Stand for what you are ‘for,’ not what you are ‘against,’ so your mindset can stay positive.

Always remember that we are all interconnected. What we are and what we do has an impact on those around us. Your bad mood can dampen the mood of others. When you are full of joy, it radiates to those around you lifting their moods. Finally, choose what you commit to with wisdom and discernment. Remember it is always better to under-commit and over-deliver than to over-commit than under-deliver.

If you, and I, can commit to these gems of wisdom, then we will have a chance to change the world – together!
This article was inspired by a blog posted in 2015 on http://fiercelove.wordpress.com

Give me a call for a 30-minute complimentary consultation and find out how you can live the life you were joyfully meant to live. I offer in-office, video conferencing, and phone consultations and sessions. Call me TODAY 415-819-8769 or email me.
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