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  • Feeling resistance to change? Try these four tips to fight off ego driven resistance

    Feeling resistance to “good” change? Here’s why & what you can do about it Raise your hand if you know you should be creating regular space in your schedule to focus on inner growth and healing, but when it comes to actually sitting down to tune in and get radically honest with yourself, you feel anxious or stuck and everything in you begins to resist! I hear ya! Oftentimes, we get stopped by internal resistance. But here’s the thing about resistance – the ego always resists change. What this means is that despite a part of you truly wanting to sit down to read, reflect or journal with the aim of deepening your self understanding and developing as a leader, there is another part of you that may see those acts as asking yourself to give up a treasured self-identity. This is because your ego will see any change in identity as a threat – yes, even when moving from an identity that is rooted in limited beliefs to one that is more fulfilled and at ease… your ego only will see threat. As a result of this “perceived threat” your ego will create all sorts of excuses to avoid any risk of change. Some of the most common way’s your ego will disguise its aversion to change is by bringing to mind phrases such as… “ I have so much work to do, I really don’t have time for any inner work” “ I'm tired and this is hard” “ I’d rather watch a movie, I can hold space for myself tomorrow/next week/ next month” “ I’ve never been good at this, there’s probably no point in trying.” All these and more will come to rob you of the joy and freedom that comes from true transformation. But don’t worry, it’s not all bad. I gotchu, you’re not in this alone! Often it’s the things that make us uncomfortable which provide us with the greatest opportunities for insight if we stick with them and break through our resistance. That’s why I want to share with you three tips that have helped me and my clients fight off any resistance to change and begin to look at the resistance in our lives as a sign that “hey, this may be exactly what I need for my healing & growth at this particular moment.” Instigate Changes Daily Affirm The Identity You Desire to Embody Daily Remind Yourself of what Resistance Offers by looking to past examples of positive changes you've made Let’s explore these a bit further… Instigate Small Changes Daily One thing you can do to start getting used to the idea of change is to familiarize yourself with the feeling on a daily basis. These don't need to be large changes ( in fact I HIGHLY suggest you start small, like super small and build upon that change gradually), but when you make the effort to step out of your comfort zone a little each day, you'll start to see life from a different perspective. When you make small changes with consistency, you'll actually be evolving your daily routine and discovering quicker and more efficient ways of doing things. Since you're engaging in small changes, it won't feel as shocking to your ego and the resistance it prompts likely won't be as intense. Application Tip: If journaling daily feels too big of a task because of all your preconceived ideas of what journaling needs to be, you might try recording a voice note with a high, low, and key learning for each day or heck, even buying some stickers and each day placing a sticker to represent how you felt at the beginning/ end of each day. These things can seem super small, boring or irrelevant but it will set you up for a renewed mindset that actually gets excited by the idea of journaling. The key is to begin to get use to some type of self-reflection and if a sticker with a sad face, anxious face or happy face can do the trick, why not give it a try! Affirm The Identity You Desire to Embody Daily If we know that a big part of the resistance ego faces in change is around not wanting to lose a cherished identity, even when that identity does not serve us, then it makes sense to begin to investigate the identities you have of yourself. Maybe you consider yourself the screw up of your family, who can't get anything right… Or maybe you see yourself as someone who is “bad” and undeserving of love…or maybe someone who will always be this way ( Ie. “I’m just someone who has always been quick to react/a loser/ bad with follow through”) Look at the beliefs that arise within each one of the identities you carry and then ask yourself are these really true? A great reframe is to ask yourself the following: “ Do I know this to be 100% true about who I will always be?” It doesn't matter if you feel 99.9% of the time it’s true, if you can't say with 100% certainty that this is how you’ll always be then it's not true and living from a place that believes it’s true wont serve your healing and growth one bit. So once you’ve identified the false truths, you can then affirm what is true and begin to attach that new truth to the identity you’d like to embody more fully. For example, let's say you’re someone who takes things super personally and is often left feeling hurt, betrayed and abused by everyone around you… You’d like to work on your sensitivity level so that others' words or perceived ideas about you won’t rattle your confidence so much. You know that in order to begin this inner work, it requires you to revisit uncomfortable feelings you’ve had and take ownership for the stories you’ve attached to certain things. You signed up for a course to heal your inner mind and live with more freedom but every time you’re supposed to sit down and tackle it, you just can't! Resistance is at its extreme and most times wins the battle, with you ending up in front of the TV rather than your notebook. You’ve recognized that you’ve rooted in a belief that “ this is just how I am and I'll never change.” You've identified this as a false belief because no one truly knows what the future holds. So now it's time to remind yourself of this more regularly by creating an affirmation such as “my opinion of myself is the only one that matters and I choose to daily practice listening to the feelings that come up in my engagements with others and reminding them of the truth.” or “ I can't be in others heads so I cannot have an accurate understanding of how they view me but I can work on how I view myself and I choose to focus my energy there daily.” Remind Yourself What Change Has Brought You At the end of the day, remember all the wonderful new experiences and relationships that change has brought you. We all know that you can’t change something we don't see so remind yourself that resistance is only highlighting areas for your own healing and growth which you can now tackle head on. Specifically as it relates to your own inner growth, try to bring to mind times when it was hard to speak your truth but you did – how did that feel? Maybe scary at first but I bet afterwards a weight was lifted and you began to experience a sense of gratitude and self-empowerment by being true to yourself, rather than abandoning your own needs for the sake of “ keeping the peace. Keep in mind that change is good for you. Since nothing in life is static, you need to make change a normal part of your life. You need to be willing to move yourself forward to reach your ultimate goals. When you do, you'll find that you're happier and more fulfilled in life!

  • DO THIS & WATCH YOUR LIFE TRANSFORM: OUR 3 STEP PROCESS TO TRANSFORMATION

    After spending more than a decade helping heart-centered women and global changemakers develop deeper levels of self-awareness, compassion and resilience in order to lead with more purpose and power, I began to notice some patterns to achieving meaningful transformation. I took those patterns and broke them down into an intuitive and easy to implement three step process that you can use to move you closer to becoming your most purposeful, powerful version of self. I call it RDP which stands for Reflect, Discern & Praxis I designed it as an easy to implement three-step process to support you in creating and sustaining growth in all facets of your life – personal, professional, spiritual, you name it. Going hand in hand with the larger spiral model of leadership, which is at the core of how we think about growth and transformation on this journey of Leading Whole, RDP is a process that never ends. Meaning that you’ll continue to gain from it, time and time again, each time you use it to practice being the highest version of yourself. But let’s break each of these steps down a bit. First off, it's no secret that we live in a world that over glorifies productivity and busyness. Because of this we are all often moving at a million miles per hour and what’s worse is that we’re often praised for it. While some say it's this hustle mentality that gets you results, we believe that at the root of any type of larger sustainable impact, we must first learn to slow down and look within. It's from this place of introspection, rather than rapid non stop action, that you can begin to see things more clearly and to see from different vantage points. That’s why we begin with the R for reflect. Reflection is all about information gathering and increasing your ability to see. It’s about slowing down enough to look around at everything happening, examining it with intentionality then beginning to bring the pieces together so you can see them as a whole. For example – say you have a puzzle and there’s tons of pieces scattered about. You normally wouldn't start the puzzle if some pieces were in the kitchen, others in the laundry room and even more under the bed. First you’d bring them all to the table so that you could see what’s there. Then, once you brought everything out, you could look at it more clearly before diving in. That’s what we’re doing as we reflect – bringing all our life events, emotions and experiences to the forefront so we can look at them at the same time. Then we move to D, for Discernment. Because only after we’ve laid everything out on the table, can we begin to explore possible connections. However, unlike a physical puzzle in which we use our eyes to find connections, when it comes to discernment, we must use our whole selves. Discernment is all about tapping into your intuition to holistically make decisions with the support of your inner guide. This takes things one step further than reflection by exploring the new insights birthed while slowing down to examine the whole, in order to begin entertaining possible routes forward. Discernment is vital to walking in wisdom because anyone can have knowledge– they can look at the pieces and say, “Okay, here’s information that I have before me” – but discernment is about turning that information into wisdom you act on. Speaking of things we can act on, let's explore the next part of our process, the P which stands for Praxis. Praxis is a word most often used in spiritual formation circles that simply means acting on one’s learning. Therefore, after you’ve completed the first two steps of reflecting on what’s behind and before you, looking at it all from a variety of angles to distill what it has to teach you, and discovering or discerning where you feel LED, then you must choose to act on that leading, by implementing a way forward. This is where Praxis comes in as a stage all about action, action, and more action. Or better yet let's say practice, practice and more practice, because it truly is about trying something on and learning from that too… Praxis is about inviting yourself to be “in the work” with a sense of radical commitment, fully present to all it has for you. After some time in Praxis you return back to the phase of… Reflect – slowing down to collect data on all that’s happened during your most recent time of Praxis. Then you move to… Discern – taking that information to your highest self to see it from new angles as you explore what lessons are being offered and how you’d like to respond to those teachings. And from here you bring things back to.. Praxis – moving knowledge into wisdom you’re now embodying in your life, through action. Through this process, we believe leaders are moved from a place of surviving to thriving – where reactivity, overwhelm, division and inaction can be transformed into purpose, power, clarity, alignment and impact. And yes, I said, leaders because you, my friend, in case you didn’t know it already, YOU are a leader! You are the leader of your life, with a specific purpose and power that are your responsibility (and privilege) to birth. And that’s something I’m here to help you see and nurture – to discover the truth of who you are and what you have the power to do. It doesn’t matter what title you have or don’t have… It doesn’t matter how charismatic or uncharismatic you are… It doesn’t matter if you tend to be vocal and upfront or more reserved and behind YOU ARE A LEADER. And now more than ever, people are looking for leaders. They’re looking for leaders like you – highly ambitious, heart centered women and world changers who elevate feminine values of authenticity, vulnerability, and collaboration. So here’s to you, as a leader, stepping into the fullness of your unique purpose and power by adopting our three step process of RDP and putting it to use in your life today! I've created a worksheet to accompany this blog, download it for free below! Xo Akwese

  • One of the Best-Kept Secrets to Happiness: Compassion

    One of the Best-Kept Secrets to Happiness: Compassion Strengthening your sense of compassion will make you feel happier. By helping to relieve the suffering of others, you bring joy to your own life. Here are some reasons why compassion matters, as well as practical suggestions. The Importance of Compassion 1. Everyone is interdependent. If you're like most people, you have a hard time even feeding yourself without relying on the efforts of others. After all, do you grow the vegetables, raise the beef, and grow the potatoes? Of course not! We depend on others for many things including our basic needs, health care, and education. 2. Protect yourself from depression. Focusing on helping others is a fast and powerful way to make yourself feel better. Even small acts of kindness promote a healthy sense of self-esteem. 3. Get more perspective on your suffering. It's easy to get caught up in your own experiences. However, when you divert your mind away from your everyday worries, they seem less overwhelming. Broadening your thinking helps you recognize that everyone - not just you - has their own trials and challenges. 4. Lighten common challenges by reaching out to those around you. Difficult times are part of life. Even if some circumstances are beyond your immediate control, you can find relief in assisting others. Support groups for specific concerns provide prime examples of the benefits of joining together to face common issues. How to Practice Compassion 1. Observe suffering. Gradually train yourself to view unpleasant situations with a calm mind. You can start out small by trying to understand a toddler's frustration with expressing their anger in words, or by noticing when a co-worker is getting overwhelmed. 2. Put yourself in the other person's position. It can be difficult to feel compassionate during an argument. Try to take the other person's perspective. Look beyond any feelings of hostility. Seek common ground and opportunities for compromise. 3. Listen respectfully to others. Even if we hold different views, we can listen with an open mind to what others are saying. It's easier to sustain compassion when people feel like they've been treated fairly. 4. Be considerate of others' wishes. Being flexible goes hand in hand with being compassionate. If your top priority is to create a better situation for everybody, you'll be willing to consider alternative approaches instead of sticking to your familiar habits. 5. Focus on other people's good qualities. Often, we naturally feel compassion for people we love. By noticing others' positive attributes, you can extend affectionate feelings toward more people than just your "inner circle." You'll also be able to respond constructively in less comfortable situations. 6. Remind yourself of positive social interactions. If we focus on how our interactions with others are often enjoyable and beneficial, it's easier to feel more considerate of their feelings. Let other people's empathetic gestures inspire you to practice compassion. 7. Offer direct assistance when appropriate. Sometimes you can ask people directly what you can do to be of service. New neighbors may welcome your suggestions for finding their way around your community. 8. Provide indirect comfort when needed. Sometimes it's beneficial to help out more quietly. If someone seems sensitive about a recent breakup, take them out to lunch and just provide them with companionship and a listening ear. Compassion can improve your life and deepen your happiness. When you reach out to others, you feel better about yourself. With these techniques, you can develop the courage to observe suffering and the wisdom to know how to alleviate pain.

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