Student of the Month: Susan Good

17 May

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I began practicing Bikram yoga almost 5 years ago.  I began at another studio in Phoenix, but after a year, and moving to north Phoenix, I joined Bikram Yoga Paradise Valley.  On the first day of practice at PV (with Terri as the instructor!) I knew I had found my “home”!  I have been practicing there regularly ever since.

I was an avid runner prior to BY.  I never had any serious injuries running, but it was definitely taking a toll on my body.  I decided it was time to “mix it up” and find a better way to exercise mind and body, while gaining better overall strength

BY was recommended to me by a physician who I work with, who also is a runner.  He said that he had found the combination of running and yoga was a great way to heal the body while also building core strength and gaining better mental balance.  I had some lower back pain as well as “lower butt pain” from running- all better now, and I can run again! I was also experiencing a difficult time in my life, and practicing BY helped me to deal with that stress and move forward.  It worked!!! I’ve met new friends who know how important this yoga is.  I also have achieved  more balance in my life, and have learned to keep things in perspective.

It is the best mind/body/spiritual “exercise” I have ever experienced!

My favorite posture is Rabbit.  I love the way it stretches the entire spine from the neck to the coccyx.   I also really like camel, for the same spine stretching.  Plus, I’m pretty good at those 2!

Susan’s advice to new students: Keep going!!  The first several classes are very challenging, and it would be easy to give up after 1 or  2 times of going.   Soon, as the practice becomes incorporated into one’s life, it would be almost impossible to give it up.

“You can have anything you want, but you can’t have everything.   Be happy with the choices you have made and  live life to the fullest.”

Top 5 things I love about BY

1.  The hot , sweaty classes where everybody looks like the same “drowned rat” by the end

2. The amazing instructors, and their humor, wisdom, and encouragement

3.  The  events such as Yoga in the Park andThe Holiday Party

4. The way the classes are all the same, yet each one is different

5.  The way I feel during and after every class!!

Be the Change…

26 Apr

By Linda Scholten April 2016

change world

“Be the change you wish to see in the world”. This saying has been attributed to Mahatma Gandhi, although documentation seems to show that someone, somewhere along the way took something Gandhi said and abbreviated it into this soundbite. Never-the-less, the saying has meaning in the sound bite world of 2016.

Ever since I knew I was going to be writing on this saying, I have been mulling it over in my mind.

The first word that jumps out to me is “BE”. If I wish to see change – I need to be consistent with and congruent with that change. I must live it, embody it. I must BE it. It must be part of my BE-ing. Let’s say I wish to see peace in the world, I must BE peace. As long as there is ‘war’ or conflict in me, or between me and my neighbor (aka anyone in my life or whom I encounter) there is no peace. This includes the driver who cut me off in traffic, the mass murderer I judge, the politician I abhor, the co-worker who irritates me, the lover who betrayed me…. How can I expect 7+ billion people to accomplish what I on my own, have not been able to master? So, as the song says, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.” I could argue that it both begins and ends with me. At least my peace does.

So let’s say I master peace in my life. And let’s further assume I didn’t have to isolate myself on a mountain top to accomplish it. I can even maintain the peace. Now what? This takes us to the second word that jumps out of the saying – “CHANGE”. What change do I wish to BE, to see? What change do YOU wish to see? Be? For the change I envision, I am the change-agent. There was already a Mahatma Gandhi, a Martin Luther King, a Rosa Parks, a Mother Theresa.

The position for me to fill, is my own. For this, I am the only one who can be it. I am the only one who can do it. Take action based on my BE-ing. This is arguably the most powerful thing we can do in this world – take action from our BE-ing. What action should I take? What action do I feel called to take? How about you? Are you willing to DO what it takes, from BE-ing, to see your change through? Am I?

The third word that jumps out for me is “WORLD”. This word speaks to tangible results – in the world. It speaks to community – local or global – all the people whose names I mentioned made massive changes in the world and had community committed to change. While it took one to spark the flame, it took many to maintain it. What is your action? Who are your ‘peeps’, your supporters?

Be the change you wish to see in the world. Here’s another way to say this:

Insight + Action = Results

Insight alone won’t make change. Action alone won’t make change. You need both the insight plus the action – the being and the doing. Then you have a chance to change YOUR world and maybe even THE world!

 

For life and professional coaching, please contact me, Linda Scholten, at linda@coachingicu.com

Hot Yoga and YOU!

5 Apr

Bikram Yoga and how it has changed my life on every level!

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Practicing Bikram Yoga is something I’ve been doing for almost a decade. And I can’t express enough how it’s transformed my life. Thanks goes out to my wife Kelley for getting me to go!

First, I want to describe the difference between Bikram Yoga and other forms of yoga. Bikram yoga is the “original” hot yoga. It’s 26-posture series is practiced in a heated room making it distinct from other forms of yoga.

The first days starting a hot yoga practice can be challenging as was the case for me. It’s during this time I noticed a real transformation begin. They say in Bikram yoga to jump into the fire while in the studio so you don’t have to in the real world. It’s sure nice to have when you need it.

What I’ve gained in the studio has had a direct relationship with how I handle tough situations in real life. Anything that works often times doesn’t come easy. However, in my opinion it’s well worth it because there’s no substitute for putting in the effort.

What I’ve really enjoyed is the way this type of yoga improves my mood. Plus, I’m eating healthier with less food and spiritually I’m more centered. I think of the soul as important as any organ in the body. It may not show up on an x-ray, but without it we are hollow inside.

If you’re interested in getting yourself ready for summer, then the benefits are great! I’m much more likely to go to the beach or a pool party because I feel good and look good too. Nothing should ever get in the way of celebrating life and all it has to offer.

I’d like to take a moment to give a quick plug to bikramyogaaz.com where I practice. They are really phenomenal people and business owners who care about the community. I’m very grateful for the ability to practice there.

Their goal is to “provide a challenging workout for all levels while providing a healing place for all walks of life.” “Their attentive yoga instructors are dedicated to helping you achieve your goals; whatever they might be!” They help everyone equally which is really awesome.

What experiences have you had with Bikram yoga? Leave a comment about your yoga practice or what happened after trying hot yoga out? We learn through each other and I’m always looking to learn new ways to do the things I love. After all, finding the right people who support you is a proven formula for success!

Renewal

29 Mar

By Linda Scholten

Re-new-al. The word itself implies that it is referring, not to something that is new-new, but to something that is re-new. I would like to play with the thought that in order for something to be re-newed, something has to die. I see beautiful evidence of this all around me at this time of year. From the dead or dormant phase of plants or trees in winter, come beautiful flowers, leaves, buds in the Spring.

For me to be renewed, what has to die, or at least fall away? Thoughts and beliefs that are harmful, judgmental, or simply no longer serve me. For new thoughts, beliefs or simply an open, expansive, not knowing mind to exist, these old thoughts need to loosen their grip.

Think about this for a moment. What thought or belief do you have that holds you back? Notice I didn’t say do you have a thought or belief that holds you back, because we all have them. Think about one thought or belief. Here’s a few of mine: I’m too fat, I’m not good enough. Or the thought could be about another: He doesn’t love me, or she doesn’t respect me, or he drinks too much.

How can you stop thinking that thought? This is a good news, bad news situation. The bad news is you can’t stop thinking that thought (i.e don’t think about a pink elephant). The good news is, that by questioning the thought, you can loosen its grip on you. So how do you question a thought? For this, I will refer to “The Work” by Byron Katie, which in its simplest form, consists of 4 questions and turning the thought around.  Growth concept

I’ll work through an example for you. The belief I’ll use is “I’m not good enough’.

  1. Q: Is it true? A: Yes
  2. Q: Can you absolutely know that it’s true? A: Well no, I’m good enough for some things.
  3. Q: How do you react, what happens when you believe that thought? A: I feel depressed, like a victim, less than, I feel defeated, hunched over, sad.
  4. Q: Who would you be without the thought? A: I feel lighter, more confident, able, my chest opens up and I am holding my head higher, I can think more clearly.

Now turn the original thought around: ‘I’m not good enough’ can get turned around to ‘I am good enough’, and give 3 genuine examples of how this is true.

  1. I have been married for 25 years – I’m good enough to be a wife!
  2. I have been the director of an agency for 16 years – I’m good enough to do that!
  3. I have good friends – I am good enough to be a great friend!

This is ‘The Work’ at its simplest. So many of the thoughts and beliefs we stubbornly hold on to that limit our selves, or our lives, or our relationships, when looked at, simply aren’t true. By questioning them, the old thoughts begin to lose their grip, leaving room for thoughts that are as true or truer than the original thought.

This is renewal, a dying off of the old, so we can be re-newed. I love how this is so beautifully and simply expressed in this line from ‘The Rose’, by Bette Midler:

“…Just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snow, Lies the seed that with the sun’s love, in the spring becomes the rose.”

 

For support in facilitating ‘The Work’ for you, please contact me, Linda Scholten, at linda@coachingicu.com

Amplify Love

17 Feb

By Linda Scholten

It may just be true that Love makes the world go ‘round. Something does, so why not love?   Love is so much more than romantic love. Love is what connects us in this world. Try, for a moment, to imagine a world without love. For me, it is unthinkable. Love for family, friends, humanity, pets, all of the other animals in the animal kingdom, nature, art, love of our planet, and (for some) love of God, to mention a few.stereo-hearts-bmp

We know about feeling love, but how do we amplify it? To amplify something, you increase its strength, and you make it greater, larger or louder. For me, this speaks to unconditional love. My teacher and mentor, George Addair defined unconditional love as Agape love: “Love the unlovable, forgive the unforgivable and give to the undeserving”. This is as strong as love gets, and many of us will never truly achieve it.

The Greeks have more names for love than we do in English, where the word love can mean anything from I love my new shoes to I love you to the depth and breadth of my being. Agape is one of these Greek terms. Maybe you would prefer to amplify one of the others: Eros, the physical sensual love, romantic love that feels so good! Seldom do we feel as alive as when we first fall in love. Or Pia – the incomparable love between a parent and a child; or Philios, which is brotherly (or sisterly) love – the love we have for our friends, a love so strong that one soldier will fall on a grenade to save his comrades.

This song, from John Denver, is so meaningful to me, and I think applies to all different types of love. Read it and take a moment to bring the words into your heart.

“Perhaps Love

Perhaps love is like a resting place, a shelter from the storm.
It exists to give you comfort, it is there to keep you warm.
And in those times of trouble when you are most alone,
the memory of love will bring you home.

Perhaps love is like a window, perhaps an open door.
It invites you to come closer, it wants to show you more.
And even if you lose yourself and don’t know what to do,
the memory of love will see you through.

Oh, love to some is like a cloud, to some as strong as steel.
For some a way of living, for some a way to feel.
And some say love is holding on and some say letting go.
And some say love is everything, some say they don’t know.
Perhaps love is like the ocean, full of conflict, full of pain.
Like a fire when it’s cold outside, thunder when it rains.
If I should live forever and all my dreams come true, my memories of love will be of you. “

This month, I invite you to take some time to think about, or meditate on all that you love. And then take it a step further. Make love a verb! Find a way to amplify this love – not just romantic love, but in an unexpected way, to a person, group, animal, or nature. Someone or something that could use the boost that your love can bring. If you want to be loved, take the risk to love first!

New Beginnings

22 Jan

By Linda Scholten

I went to visit my mother on Vancouver Island, had a great time, and now it was time to leave.  As the ferry pulled out of the harbor, I faced back toward the Island.  It is a beautiful place and I was enjoying the scenery and thinking about what a nice visit we’d had.  Then a thought struck me. No matter how beautiful the place, how wonderful the time, how great the people, you can’t move forward too far while you’re looking back.  The past is important because that’s where you’ve been, lived, learned, suffered, loved, and has contributed to making you who you are today. It can be fun, therapeutic, or instructive to look back, but it won’t get you where you’re going.  To truly move forward, you have to leave the harbor. NewBeginning

I don’t know anything about navigating a boat, so those of you who do, please forgive me if I’m butchering sacred knowledge. I’m milking a metaphor, not teaching navigation.  It makes sense to me that there are three important things to know:  where you’ve been, where you’re going, and where you are.  Which is the most important of the three?  Depends on your objective.  Do you want to live in the past, the present, or the future?

The past is, well, past.  I love this quote (author unknown):  “When your past calls, don’t answer.  It has nothing new to say.”  All clichés aside, the past is all we’ve known.  For better or worse, it is the harbor we’re leaving.  What or who you knew to succeed there may or may not be helpful where you’re going.

The future beckons or threatens; invites or intimidates; shines a light to move toward or blinds us; welcomes us or scares the crap out of us.  It is what we are moving forward to.  But you can’t live there either.  Great as a place to strive toward, set goals, make plans, imagine, and create.  It is not real. Yet.  You are not there.  Yet.  On a journey, you might change your point of destination.  You might end up somewhere quite different than where you were headed.  By choice, by chance, or by consequence.

Of course where we are now, in the present moment, is where we live.  It is where we begin, or begin again.  The waters we’re on are the ones we navigate.  The waters where you are may be calm or stormy.  The present conditions are the ones you live with, despite what they were like yesterday or will be like tomorrow.  Blessing or curse?  It’s up to you.  Will you use the power of choice?  Will you experience the moment?  Will you live it?  Embrace it?  Be in it?  Or will you squander the present moment with regrets, guilt, or hanging on with longing, to the past?  Or will you miss the present moment by wishing, fantasizing, dreading or fearing the future (your imagined future, that is)?  Are you fully there to make the choices the present moment requires? Your call.  Each and every moment.  A new chance, a new opportunity, a new beginning.

Shall I end with the most obvious cliché?  Shall I be that corny? <Yes, do it!  No, don’t do it! You’ll be glad you did, people will see the humor!  No, they’ll think it is unoriginal and obvious.  You’ll be sorry! Don’t!> I’m doing it!  I’m ending with that corny cliché!

Each and every moment.  A new chance, a new opportunity, a new beginning, a new gift.  That’s why we call it the present!

 

Linda Scholten offers personal goal coaching! To discuss coaching or to schedule a complimentary sample session, contact Linda at 360-836-9004 or email her at:Linda.Scholten@AccomplishmentCoaching.com

 

Peace and Forgiveness

4 Jan

by Linda Scholten

I had a conversation in a dream this morning just before I woke up. I was saying to someone that I need to have peace with myself, with you, and with we. And when I said we, I moved my arms around in a big circle to indicate that the “we” meant all. All of humanity, the world. I don’t remember the content of the dream, just this exchange. But what I was getting at was that there was something I couldn’t do in the dream until I had peace with me, you, we. The person I was talking to, said, “Well that’s quite a lot isn’t it? I mean, if you have peace with yourself, with me and all others, you have what you want already. That IS the Work. That IS what you’re up to on this planet. There is no before, during and after that. That process is ongoing.”

peace

At this time of year, Peace, Love, Joy, Goodwill toward all, are referred to more than any other time of year. This is also a time of giving, and I think that these values all thrive best when in the presence of each other. Here’s something else that can thrive in the presence of these values: forgiveness.

Peace is not the absence of war or conflict. Forgiveness is not the absence of anger, resentment, or hurt. Peace and forgiveness are states of being, conscious choices and they inspire intentional actions. Peace and forgiveness are not virtues or values for sissies or the faint of heart. To have peace with me, you, we, requires all the love you have to give.

Is there anyone in your life (include yourself here) who needs your forgiveness? For-give-ness is an extremely powerful act of Giving. Forgiveness is also an act of courage. Courage, being required only if there is fear. And there is often a lot of fear associated with forgiving. Fear of rejection, fear of opening Pandora’s box, fear of letting someone off the hook for a heinous act. Grace has a lot to offer in supporting the act of forgiveness as well. Grace for yourself, and the other(s) and the circumstances. Forgiving how it went. Tired of the ball and chain anchoring you to one spot? Chaining you to the other, yourself, or the circumstances?   Consider forgiveness as the key to the lock, the ultimate letting go.
If you were part of the Giving Challenge this month, I invite you to consider forgiving and giving peace as gifts to give. I am going to do this for my last week of the challenge. If you were not part of the Giving challenge, I invite you to consider forgiving and giving the gift of peace as gifts to give.

Forgiveness is an inside job and does not require the knowledge or participation of another. They need never be informed, however, they may feel an unexplainable sense of peace themselves.

I’ll end with a quote from one of my favorite songs: “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.” May Peace be with you now, and always!

 

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