My internal reflections on reopening.

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My heart is quivering with anticipation as I approach my magical place. Will it be open?

The place I am referring to is Cedarmere, the country home of prominent 19th-century poet, newspaper editor, and civic leader William Cullen Bryant.  

droplets-of-water-on-blades-of-grass.jpgCedarmere is a 7-acre site in the Village of Roslyn Harbor. The property has a pond, house, mill, gardens, and a spectacular landscape designed by Bryant. Here, Bryant sought sanctuary from the congestion and chaos of the city, where he could rest, work on his poetry, and spend time surrounded by nature.

I am grateful to him as this has become my sacred place where I enjoy deeply connecting to myself. The beauty of nature has a profound effect upon me; it becomes the gateway from the outer world to the inner.

No big orange cones are blocking my way! Reentry is here. Maybe normalcy is returning. A few weeks ago, this site was blocked off, inaccessible.

The croaking of the bullfrogs welcomes me. I wonder if they are calling others or keeping them away. I have the same feelings with this reopening of society.  Part of me is wanting it, and part of me, is not so comfortable. 

I hear the birds calling me back to the moment as I smell the deliciousness of earth and drink in the view. The familiarity of the sounds, sights, and smells make me feel safe again, as if normalcy has returned.

This world is quite astonishing, when you step into this moment, out of the thoughts that chase you away. When you open your heart and your mind without a haze of your fears, amazement comes!

When I am most awake, most present in the moment, every sense of nature converges into a single energetic joy. It is as if there is a feeling passing between each living thing, a bond that is tangible and blended, a melody beyond the range of ears but available for the heart. 

As each blade of grass moves in the wind, a part of me does also. It is the togetherness of what appears to be separate; interconnectedness is the real nature of our universe.

I want to know more. I want to know more about me, I want to know more about you, I want to know more about life… 

I must reenter along with the rest of society! This will require some courage and vulnerability. In the living, I will learn. I will allow the unfolding without attachment to any outcome. 

And you?

Tildet-Free-4-Week-Event-800x450.jpgWould you like to feel to be more in control of your emotions and stress? Join a 4-Week Free Course: Master Your Stress and Build Your ResilienceIn this course, you will uncover how to use and transform stress as a source of awareness to help you improve your well-being and success. Through these meetings and weekly exercises, you will discover simple and sustainable evidence-based practices that enable you to strengthen the parts of your brain responsible for focus, problem solving, and regulating emotions.

What’s distracting you?

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What is distracting you? Is it food, alcohol, Netflix, your work… something else?

I found out what my distraction was, and did what I needed to do.

Want to know what you can do? Watch my video. 

Watch this before you eat that extra cookie…

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The video below talks about understanding (and having compassion for yourself) when you have an urge to splurge in eating.

Do you find yourself going for that extra cookie or scoop of ice cream too often? Then it is time to watch my video below to find out how to stop.

Struggling with negative thoughts? Practices to help with that.

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Negative self talk is something that most of us experience from time to time, and it comes in many forms. It can create stress, not only to us but to those around us if we’re not careful.

Negative self talk can be overridden by cultivating a compassionate heart, which is loving-kindness for yourself and others. 

In this video, I walk you through how to reframe your thoughts. You can practice this reframing exercise, and see if it helps. Practice makes progress! 

In addition to the above, these four essential truths provide another approach that can help you to break the cycle of negative self talk:

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The Best Ways I’ve Found to Connect During Social Distancing

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Now more than ever, social connection is important. Research has shown that social connection improves one’s physical health as well as mental and emotional well-being.

As human beings, we need to love, be loved, and have a sense of belonging. And yet, a sense of connection, in contrast to what you may believe, is internal.

In this video, I share how to build your own internal sense of connection; I also share my own experiences with you.

You are wired to connect and have a community. Social connection is not an exchange of information, it is an exchange of presence, emotion and humanity. To connect: be authentic, and trust that even with your imperfections, your presence and connection is important and valuable. Be genuinely interested in others, because every person wants to feel cared about and connected to others.

How can you continue to connect at times of COVID-19:

Create connection by using technology: Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, Houseparty are some of the apps you can use. Explore them, it is fun adventure.

Create a call list: get into a regular schedule to checking in with people. Especially older relatives and neighbors they may not feel comfortable reaching out to you in needing assistance for grocery shopping, dog walking, cutting the lawn…. It would be nice to check how they are getting along.

Ask for help: if you or someone you know is struggling emotionally, keep in mind that online counseling or therapy, is a fast and effective way for them to get extra support. Some free counseling options are also available.

I am also available: contact me to find out more about help for yourself or for your organization.

social connection.pngHere are some free resources:

New York State COVID-19 Emotional Support Helpline
1-844-863-9314
8AM-10 PM, 7days a week

Text HOME to 741741
24/7
https://www.crisistextline.org/

The Disaster Distress Helpline 
1-800-985-5990
24/7

Focus on things you can control! Let me help you see how.

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The world is certainly undergoing through many changes. With change often comes anxieties and the fear of loss. The more centered, objective and neutral we are, the more resilient and adaptable we become to this temporary situation. That is why focusing on high priority actions and things we have control over is an expression of wisdom.

In the video below I have pointed out the things you can still control to keep calm and resilient.

How do you close the knowing-doing gap?

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Would you agree that we are prone to cram our minds full of new things to know, yet fail to put into practice those few important things we need to do?

There is a gap between our knowing and our doing.

I want to resolve this for you as you can hear in my video below:

Every one of us experiences this challenge, especially in our information-driven world. While it’s true that there’s an ongoing need to learn and know more, implementing what is already clear is our greater need.

When it comes to our goals and the changes we want to make, closing the knowing-doing gap becomes important.

We may have the motivation but it is not enough. This subject has been of interest to me and I want to share practices that have worked for me and my clients.

My “stormy season” poem

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Back in August of 2019, I was going through what I call a “stormy season”. At that time I wrote the poem “Nature Whispered” to express my feelings, and shared the poem at my 2020 Make It Your Best Year Yet event. Many of the attendees asked for the poem, so here it is:

The magic of saying “No”… and sometimes “Yes”

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At times do you feel like you have taken on too many commitments and feel spread too thin? Have considered saying “No” at times like that, but find it hard to do? Let’s look at why it can be so hard to say no. Put another way, how do you say no and not feel bad about it?Saying “No” can trigger all sorts of worried thoughts in your brain, like:

  • I’m missing out
  • I’m being rude
  • I’m letting them down
  • I’m making them angry
  • I’m not meeting my goals

And on and on and on…

Most of the time, none of those are true. One key to success in life and business is to be capable of choosing when to get involved and when to set boundaries.

Examples of when it is OK to say “No”: 

  • When you’re stressed or overwhelmed
  • When you’re already doing too much
  • When you’re tired or sick
  • When it’s something you don’t want to do
  • When it takes away from your values and wishes
  • When you deserve or need some time to yourself

Here are some tips to help you when you are saying “No”:

  • Tell the truth: Always find a way to be truthful; an honest and respectful answer to a request ultimately deepens the integrity of a relationship.

  • Timing matters: No does not mean “No forever”. Sometimes you just need time or circumstances to be right, so don’t feel that you are permanently shutting out a goal or a person if you say no at a given moment.

  • Stay firm: People who are used to relying on you saying “Yes” will often try to persuade you. Don’t get drawn into elaborate discussion. Just repeat your no and have short phrases or a sentence ready that honestly explain your decision, for example: “I’m unavailable because my family needs me”; “I can’t right now because I am swamped with other commitments”; “It is not the precise area where I choose to put my efforts right now”.

Saying “No” does not mean you are selfish or lazy. It means you are setting boundaries, which is vital in our busy world. And strange as it may seem, this can be a help to other people as well, when they observe how you take care of your own needs.

And by saying “No” you make space for more “Yes”—to the things you really want to say “Yes” to.

Both “Yes” and “No” have magic within them, allowing us to fully respond to each situation in life. It is about being able to choose what we want.

Ask yourself at each moment of decision, what do I really want and need? Then courageously state your ‘Yes” or “No” and watch the magic happen.

Make your goals exciting and inspiring, here is how…

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Let’s continue with tips that can make 2020 your best year yet! Last email we talked about the importance of writing your goals.

Sometimes we may set goals for ourselves that we don’t deeply care about. We set them because we assume that we should want to achieve certain things. As a result, our goals become another overwhelming to-do-list.

How do we make our goals exciting and inspiring?Vision and feelings working together 

By discovering your feelings behind the goals, and attaching those feelings to the goals!

 

For each goal ask yourself:

  • How do I want to feel?
  • Why did I choose this goal?

Let’s say you want to lose weight. Feeling energized so you can do more activities with friends and loved ones, may be the feeling you identify behind the weight loss goal.

Let’s say you want to make more money. The feelings of security and freedom are what you may identify that drive that goal forward.

When our goals are aligned with our core values and they are meaningful then no matter what obstacles come in the way, we find the energy to take action and move forward. Our feelings inform our thoughts and perspectives and actions.

“Don’t allow your mind to tell your heart what to do. The mind gives up easily.” – Paulo Coelho

So, pick your top three goals, and determine your “WHY”s. The deeper you go with your “WHY”s the more you will be moved emotionally, and that is what will make you take action. And when faced with a challenge you will find yourself more resilient and determined. 

Here is a way to practice to help you with the process. Yes, keep going deep, and keep writing until you get a feeling of a deep emotion that may even show up as tearing of your eyes or other emotional expression. (You may get to it in a few steps, but usually it takes six or seven steps!) You may want to this exercise with a partner; it is powerful to share.

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