<![CDATA[alohacoach - AlohaBlog]]>Wed, 21 Feb 2018 17:21:02 -0600Weebly<![CDATA[Enneagram Professional Certificate]]>Wed, 14 Feb 2018 17:21:10 GMThttp://alohacoach.com/alohablog/enneagram-professional-certificate]]><![CDATA[Trusting the Process]]>Tue, 13 Feb 2018 22:16:07 GMThttp://alohacoach.com/alohablog/trusting-the-processPicture
​Anything worth doing that takes time to learn. If we only embark on things that we already know we can do, what new things can we master? If we choose to do things that don't challenge us, how will we grow? If we expect new lessons to be comfortable and give up when they're not, how will our minds and bodies evolve into something smarter and stronger?

When I decided to learn to meditate, I recall thinking (while I was attempting to meditate) "This sucks. I'll never be able to do this." And then actively saying to myself "Meditation must be like learning a new exercise; I have to practice even when I think I suck and it seems too complicated. And then trust in the process. 1. Show up. 2. Do the right thing. 3. Trust the process. 4. Repeat." It took more than a year before I noticed the changes that had occurred. And I believe part of what transformed me was the mantra I had created while learning this new skill.

We have to sit with the discomfort of our imperfections and lack of success to generate the strides we seek. Sometimes that means doing things we don't like or that are challenging. And waiting for the perfect time, practice, exercise, or diet is just an excuse to delay what you profess to want.

Instant gratification (all or nothing thinking) leaves little room for allowing our bodies and minds to catch up with what we envision for ourselves. Show up. Do the right thing. Trust in the process. Repeat; it might take a while.

<![CDATA[Commitment]]>Fri, 09 Feb 2018 15:42:30 GMThttp://alohacoach.com/alohablog/commitmentA client and I were discussing the meaning of commitment because of an upcoming wedding he'll attend this weekend. Our topic was how commitment applies to marriage (and other chosen responsibilities throughout life).

My half of the discussion was that in this country the act of marriage seems to represent a one-day event; being the center of attention; a princess for a day. And it ends the moment everyone goes home. When is consideration given to the fact that the purpose of the event is a commitment to another person, not a party for YOU, jewelry, a fancy dress, gifts, and lots of pictures of yourself? Picture
​​My client's half of the discussion was a beautiful and refreshing point of view. For him, marriage represents a commitment to himself and his values. Before he married, he considered the oath, his integrity, and his honor. Of course, he made this pledge with someone willing to do the same, but his focus has not wavered from his initial intention and motivation to be married.

I am grateful for this fresh and insightful view of commitment and can see how it applies not only to marriage, but any chosen relationship be it friendship, work, or having children. 

I have just two caveats: While being determined not to "give up" may be a strength (perseverance), you may also end up compromising your self-respect and self-integrity out of fear of change, mere stubbornness, or not knowing when persevering means having the courage to redirect. And waiting for "proof" that you have done enough before extracting yourself from a commitment is merely waiting for the reason to blame the other person for a decision you've already made.

I thank you, Adam, for your conversation and insight.

<![CDATA[Motivation Precedes Action]]>Sat, 03 Feb 2018 21:43:01 GMThttp://alohacoach.com/alohablog/motivation-precedes-actionPicture
​Taking action is a decision (except when a lion is chasing us, and our amygdala takes over) and leads to an outcome; which leads to more choices and more outcomes, etcetera. Are you aware of what motivates you, what inspires your decisions and actions? 

What do you suppose happens when you have no awareness of your motivators? At some point, you'll probably end up in an unexpected situation; wondering "How the heck did I wind up here?" Perhaps you'll assume luck was on your side. Maybe you'll have regrets, and maybe you'll feel relief, either way, lacking any insight of your motivators will eventually bite you in the ass. After all, how can you avoid pitfalls and nurture contentment if you don't even know how you got to where you are?

Do you make current choices based on past mistakes? Or are your decisions are based on previous successes? Well, it takes knowing your motivation for doing the thing that turned out successfully or not to repeat or avoid the same outcome.

Do you assume that a failed experience will be successful in the future if you alter one aspect without taking into account, there was most likely more than one factor involved in the failure? For example, maybe you once had a cat that was aloof, then decided you don't like cats because you want attention and companionship and you didn't get that from your cat. Blaming cats, in general, is one way to handle not knowing your reason (motivation) for getting a cat before choosing your furry companion. However, it was not living with an aloof cat that was the problem; it was just the wrong cat for you. If you had only known why you wanted a cat, you might not have wasted the cat's time or yours. And, you might be losing out on your perfect companion because you have generalized your experience with one specific cat.

Do our motivations change over time? Of course. Experience changes us. Without knowing why experiences alter where we focus our attention and what motivates our actions, we will continue to be surprised how we end up where we do.

What will help you identify your motivators?

<![CDATA[Why Not Sobriety?]]>Tue, 16 Jan 2018 15:37:13 GMThttp://alohacoach.com/alohablog/why-not-sobrietyPicture
​As a husband of a friend noted, socializing revolves around alcohol, not food. He can notice this because he is choosing sobriety himself and when you don't buy into the "I deserve this" mentality, you can see the self and societal justification behind drinking. 

I feel frustrated and disappointed at the assumed entitlement to use chemicals to manage human life. And I'm tired of hearing the rationalizations for lack of personal insight and responsibility. 

It's easy to point the finger at people smoking weed or other more dangerous drugs, like cocaine, warning that "it's destroying your brain" and "it's illegal" among other valid criticisms. However, alcohol is a mood altering substance just the same, and most people brush it off as a "social" or "relaxing" event. Why? Why is it acceptable to dump poison down your throat to socialize or relax or loosen up or de-stress or have fun? It's a chemical that impairs judgment and mood just like all chemical stimulants and depressants.

What a shame that you can't enjoy being with another human, a meal out, watching sports, attending a party, listening to music, or working without also ingesting a mood-altering chemical. What an insult to the people you're with that you should want a mood-altering chemical to be with them — are you the dull one or are they? And if you're incapable of working without an occasional chemical intervention then maybe you're in over your head. 

Do you drink or use drugs because that's what you and your friends do when you're together; it's just standard procedure? What friends would you have if you didn't use mood-altering substances? Maybe you're afraid you won't have any friends? I can see why you would want to keep reinforcing the pattern you've established; it'll work well long-term, I'm sure. Misery loves company, as they say. I'm curious, what does someone who doesn't use (alcohol or drugs) say about your use?

Now, if you think I'm harsh or unfair, after all, you just use to "relax," I wonder if you've ever asked yourself why you need a chemical to relax? Perhaps you watched the "grown-ups" engage in drinking, smoking cigarettes, smoking weed, etc. and learned that's just what you do when you get BIG. I ask you; did it ever occur to you that you don't have to mimic your elders (even if they're teenagers)? And to whom are you now modeling the same behavior?

Maybe you want to tell me you like the taste, and that's why you drink or smoke weed. Okay, and how about that first try, back when you were a young teenager perhaps? ADAPTATION. Just like exercise, if you routinely exert your muscles and heart, your body will adapt, and you can eventually exert more with less effort. Congratulations, you've adapted to the taste and chemical response to poison! My kudos to you.

I challenge you to consider your resistance to the topic of sobriety as a warning. The harder you work to justify your reasons for using mood-altering substances, the less control you have. But don't worry, you're a pro at excuses, and you've got all the support you need to carry on status quo. 

As a client of mine at the gym said yesterday, "It's easier to take the path of least resistance and sit on the couch eating sugar, but all that breeds is self-loathing. It's hard work to renounce a chemical like sugar and exercise instead, but I'll live a fuller life and feel pride that I'm healthy, and I deserve it."

Go ahead, try giving up your drug of choice and find out who's in the driver's seat. All of your closest friends are rooting for you. Or are they?