Your body as your emotional barometer

When I was in my 20’s I took an Assertiveness Training course to learn how to say “no” with grace and dignity. I loved the class and learned to key into my personal values and how to support them with the daily choices I made.


A totally unexpected and memorable aspect of Assertiveness Training was that it taught me to get in touch with where I held and felt emotions in my body, and how to use my body as a barometer for my feelings. This may not sound like earth-shattering or particularly life-enhancing knowledge, but knowing exactly how you feel makes responding to life’s situations so much easier and can dramatically reduce your stress.

What I Learned

Each of us hold our emotions a bit differently, but we all have a personalized physical pattern to the way we respond to happiness, anger, sadness, fear, joy of any of the other feelings which pass through or linger with us each day.

I soon realized, I hold fear in my chest, but it usually begins with a flip in my stomach.  Anger almost always starts with a burning in my chest and slowly spread to my throat. If I let it grow, my stomach churns.

After a bit of time and reflection, I realized that I physically react to indignation – a type of anger laced with the belief that I am being treated unfairly – throughout the entire upper half of my body, it was almost like a shield drops into place readying me for battle!

Anxiety sets my chest on fire and my stomach churning within seconds, much faster than anger does.

Sadness usually settles in like a hooded cloak, covering my head and weighing down my shoulders as it slowly descended the length of my back. The weight makes me feel lethargic and trapped.

Happiness starts in the center of my chest and flows quickly throughout my body leaving a smile on my face – crinkly eyes and all. If I lift and wiggle my shoulders, along with the other reactions, I know I am really feeling the joy!

Hope and happiness combined – that “job well done” kind-of feeling – make me feel like dancing or jumping into an exercise routine. Just thinking about that feeling this way, makes me happy, which makes me smile and wiggle my shoulders!

Tuning In

Where do you feel anger, sadness, happiness? How do they spread and grow for you? How would you describe your physical reactions?

Emotions Plutchik-wheel.svg Wiki

Researcher Robert Plutchik Ph.D’s “Wheel of Emotion” can help you explore a variety of emotions.

Take a few moments this week to begin paying attention to your personal body barometer to learn how your emotions settle in. When you are happy,scared, sad or mad, note the feeling and where you feel it in your body. Pay attention to how it ebbs and flows. This momentary awareness, when repeated often, can lead to big changes in your life.

Learning your physical cues will help you key into exactly what you are feeling, which makes dealing with life’s ups and downs much easier, and can help you live a much more fulfilling life by increasing your understanding of yourself and how you want to live and feel.

If you keep-up with the practice, instead of spending time hiding from, denying or covering-up your feelings by eating, drinking, yelling, working too much or staying too busy, you may be able to look at them in a new light and begin sorting through them more effectively.

Start tuning into your body today to create the life you really want!


You can do it!

Are you ready? Life could be better  . . . Wishful Thinking Works Life Coaching

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Guided goodness – free meditation series

buddhist-481765_960_720If you have never tried meditating, or if you meditate and would like to add to your current practice, check out Oprah and Deepak Chopra’s upcoming, free 21-day meditation series.

I have used their meditations in the past, and they are guided goodness and a refreshing way to calm your mind and comfort your soul. Meditations are usually 15 minutes in length – a small amount of time that can yield big results.

To enrich your life and create new levels of awareness, insight and joy sign-up for their free meditation series, which begins April 10 by clicking here.

Then join the free  Wishful Thinking Works Meditation Facebook Group , which is designed to help you develop the meditation habit by

  • providing accountability – studies how this is key when developing any new habit,
  • to celebrate your successes – also so important when trying something new,
  • and to give you a place to share your thoughts and questions with others going through the same process.

It’s a virtual support group for your new journey!

The Wishful Thinking Works Meditation Facebook Group is open to everyone, it is listed as “closed” on FB, but that just means no one but members can see your posts. You have nothing to lose and so much gain.


Join us to find a bit more peace in your heart and happiness in your life. You deserve this and more, and it is all free!

Are you ready? Life could be better  . . . Wishful Thinking Works Life Coaching

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Circle of strengths

Would you like to start your Monday morning with a surge of excitement and a bit of bliss? Would you like to feel energized and motivated, while improving your concentration and deepening your ability to relax?

No problem, begin the day by exercising your strengths.

Are you curious, creative, wise, kind? Do you love learning, have a deep appreciation for beauty, a rich capacity to love and be loved, to express gratitude and to forgive and offer mercy? Are you brave, honest, genuine and authentic? Do you persevere or have a deep sense of spirituality? Are you a leader, loyal, and fair? Do you proceed with caution and show great self-control? Are you playful and full of optimism and hope? Are you modest or do you have strong social intelligence?

all+strengthsThe combination of positive psychology’s 24 character strengths are varied and personal. Each of us has our own set of strengths, and exercising them is one of the fastest ways to feel good about ourselves and the world. All of the strengths are equally valuable, and every combination offers something special, which makes each of us special, too.

Immersing ourselves in activities that use our strengths can create a sense of flow, which allows us to focus our abilities and can relax us by transporting us beyond ourselves and the world around us. Flow can lead to fulfillment, which will leave us feeling good about ourselves and the world around us. It’s the sweet little circle of strengths.

Exercising your top strengths is a great way to start your day, a super way to create the life you want, and it’s free and doesn’t require breaking a sweat.

If you aren’t sure what your strengths are, an easy way to discover them is to take the Value In Action (VIA) Survey of Character Strengths, which you can find at    The survey is backed by years of positive psychology research that you can read about here. It is a valid and inspiring way to move forward with creating the life you really want. I have used it with lots of folks in personal and professional settings.

If you would like to receive a copy of the Wishful Thinking Works one page Circle of Strengths, which will help you identify ways to apply your top six signature strengths, just complete the form below.

Knowing and using our signature strengths doesn’t guarantee a perfect or challenge-free life, but it can create a life filled with fun, flow and fulfillment, which may lead to accomplishments and can help us deepen our relationships with others. Oh, and did I mention it’s free, and it feels good?

Wishful Thinking Works Life Coaching

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A once in a lifetime opportunity

Your life!

Your life is your once in a lifetime opportunity!  art-1281459__340

And, it is the perfect place to practice the art of living!

Life is designed to be felt, experienced and embraced in all it’s colors, depths and shades. Dreams, passion and love make it easier.

It can get messy, brushes-21992_960_720 but I don’t believe we need hard times to make us stronger or more appreciative of the good times but if they do appear, embrace that, too.

Don’t censor or muddle through your life. Find ways to live with purpose and passion, with rich rewarding relationships and hours and hours where you loose yourself in what you are doing.

When considering your accomplishments, use yourself as the only ruler that matters. art-supplies-1324034__340When you focus your attention on you,  you will discover how uniquely wonderfully and precious you truly are.

Each of us is a work of art. Your life is the canvas. Make sure the central focus, the scenes, the brush strokes and the colors chosen are yours.

Make it as beautiful as possible. As colorful as you choose. And, as wonderful as you are!

Life as art (2).jpg

You can do it!

If not . . .

if-not-youSeveral times a month, I meet with groups of wonderful Wishful Thinking Women. At our Saturday gathering earlier this month, we were talking about procrastination, and one of the women shared a phrase, which her Dad had often said to her. She noted that it had inspired her many times to do kind and caring things for others and for herself.

I had heard the phrase before, and had used it as a personal rallying cry to right social ills or widespread wrongs, but I had never thought of applying it to myself!

If not you, who will treat you in just the way you need and desire? How can others know how to treat us, if we do not treat ourselves with kindness, grace, joy, peace and a sense of gratitude and abundance?

If not now, when? Start today to treat yourself the way you wish others would. Move forward with your plans to go back to school, find quiet time, begin a diet or take that trip.

What are you waiting for? If you need permission, Sylvia’s Dad would surely say it is okay. And, Sylvia is such a warm, caring woman, her Dad must have been a very wise man!

You can do it!

Feeling fine on a Thursday afternoon

img_4669Listening to classical music and planning upcoming workshops, which always makes me feel extremely, happy, content and fulfilled.

Are you feeling the same way? If so, savor the moment.

If not, what would you have to be doing to feel the same way?

  • Hold that picture in your mind, breathe deeply and exhale slowly through your nose.
  • Hold it a bit longer, add a few more details, breathe a bit deeper, exhale even more slowly.
  • Gently let the vision fade away.
  • Breathe deeply, exhale with a smile.

Feeling relaxed, happy? Hope so!

Hope this moment finds you immersed in your version of wonderful!


Do the next right thing

“Do the next right thing.”

This short missive has helped me many times in my life. stepping-stones-763985_960_720When I am feeling confused, overwhelmed, frustrated or lazy and bored, it always gets me moving forward.

You see, I don’t have to have all the answers or figure out a solution. I don’t even have to wonder how or why I got myself into a situation. All I have to do is the next right thing.

Sometimes, when I ask myself what the next right thing is, I think of three or four things that seem right, and then I just pick the one that is most important to me at that moment in my life.

The other day, “the next right thing” was to write cards to three people I care deeply about and who will be happy to receive a thank-you, get well, or “thinking of you” note in the mail.  Relationships matter a great deal to me, so that was an easy pick over the laundry and dishes that were waiting for me, but until I posed the actual question to myself – the cards and stamps sat on the dining room table.

On a different day, writing a post or sending work emails might get bumped to the front of the line. Or something much more important, such as apologizing to someone, may take top billing. The choice is yours.

Doing the next right thing is an act of faith in yourself and your priorities. It comes from knowing what really matters to you. It is a softer, more flexible type of to-do list. And, if you like checking things off, you can keep on ongoing “ta-da” list handy to write them down as you complete them along with a nice big check mark.

You will feel so good after doing the next right thing, you will be motivated to accomplish more of the items that come to mind. Until, of course, the next right thing to do is to relax, which will be much easier to do, when you know you’ve already done the right thing!

You can do it!

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