Are You Living in a Lobster Trap?

Dear Circle of Friends,

I recently visited the harbor in Oceanside, CA.  Harbor towns are kind of my thing.  I love the ocean breeze, sailboats, and my personal favorite; the barking of the sealions sunning on the docks. Along my journey I discovered a wall of stacked lobster traps. I wandered over to them and looked inside. If you are not familiar with how they work let me enlighten you; food is placed inside the trap to attract lobsters. The entrance way is called “the head” which leads them into the “kitchen” where the bait bag is located. When the lobster tries to leave the trap, it follows a funnel shaped net and lands in the “bedroom” or “parlor” where they are inevitably stuck. However, there is always an escape hatch for smaller lobsters and fish to get out.

As I continued my walk, I thought…

Do you ever feel like you live in a lobster trap?

 What looks like an easy meal hanging there for the taking, only to find out that you have trapped yourself into a place where you feel you can never get out. 

That trapped/ stuck feeling of something is not working for you anymore. Maybe its your job, relationship, friends, or the everyday life with no excitement.

I know I have experienced this and said, “I feel trapped”!  Doing the same thing, in the same area, being too comfortable (such as the parlor where comfortable furniture is located) Maybe I AM living in a lobster trap!!!

When nothing exciting happens and you can’t seem to step forward and change things, there is an element of being trapped. So where is the escape hatch?  

Look up – It has the word CHOICE hanging over the top of it!

Change will very rarely occur if you are sitting around and waiting for someone or something to come into your life and suddenly change it for the better.   

YOU are the only one who can really make the difference. The Eagles said it best
“So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains and we never even know we have the key”

Choosing to act and create something new can change the outlook in your life. The feeling of being more in control of your time, energy and patterns has a sense of freedom.

Once you have opened the hatch how do you get free from the trap emotionally and allow yourself to venture out and enjoy life once again?

 I know what you are about to say, but wait, “Mik I don’t have it all figured out!

So, what!  “neither do I”

However, what I do know is taking the first step is crucial. We do not need to know the end results. We just need to understand that the beginning is more important. Anything that we newly start is better than what we are already initially doing because we understand how that makes us feel.  

Start with the small things. What is one thing you have wanted to do? Try a new food, take a drive, buy new clothes, meet new friends, join a networking club, it doesn’t matter. Just make the conscious decision to try something different. – Make a list and pick one thing that you can kickstart outside the norm.

Get out of your own head!  Learn to relax, let things go and enjoy being you. Whatever happens, happens. You can’t control everything – Stay open minded and ask yourself why you may say “no” to something. Many times, we say “No” because it is our default answer without really an underlying reason not to try it.

Remember there isn’t failure in trying. If you don’t care for something, move on. That is the beauty of you independently controlling your own decisions.

You have a whole “Ocean” to discover. Stay away from the eels who will zap the life out of you and don’t swim with the sharks who will eat your dreams.

Rise to the surface, feel the sun on your face, and let the current take you to paradise!!

Love,

Coach Mikki

Dirt or Decision?

One day a farmer’s donkey fell into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out a way to get him out. Finally, the farmer decided it was probably impossible to get the animal out, and the animal was old, and the well was dry anyway. Making a choice at the donkey’s cost, the farmer decided filling the well would be best thing to do.   The farmer explained to his neighbors the dangers of an open well and convinced them to come over and help him fill the well with dirt.  For those who agreed with the farmers plan, grabbed a shovel, and began to help the farmer shovel dirt into the well.
At first, when the donkey realized what was happening, he cried horribly. With each pile of dirt thrown into the well everyone could hear the cry of help from the Donkey. Some of the neighbors could not stand the cries for help and left. Others began to shovel dirt faster so they could end the donkey’s life faster.  After some time, the donkey had stopped crying for help, and it became quiet.  A few shovels later, the farmer looked down the well with hesitation to see what was happening and was astonished at what he saw.
With every shovel of dirt that hit the donkey’s back, the donkey would shake it off. He would shift his body and let the dirt fall in the one direction and then another then would step on the dirt to pack it down so he could step up.  
As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he continued to shake it off and step on top of the dirt. Pretty soon, to everyone’s amazement, the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and trotted off!
 
 Now the original moral of the story is: Life is going to shovel dirt on you. Shake it off and take a step. I however would like to expound on this story. There are so many elements that associate with everyday life.  When we look at either past events or something currently happening, we must take into consideration all the parts. If we use the donkey as a symbol of ourselves being in the middle of a relationship, work environment or situation where we feel as though we have thrown myself into the well, who are the people in our lives choosing what they think is best for us?
Have we been happy with the result? Or comfortable with what we are experiencing?  Who are the people in our lives holding the shovels and have we allowed them to keep burying us with dirt? In my experience I had to realize that I can NOT allow others to think they can live MY LIFE better than me!!
 
We can allow others to bury us with “emotional dirt” in our lives OR we can choose to rise above it, not allow it and walk away.

And in this Corner.. F.E.A.R

And in This Corner … F.E.A.R.

  Determination, Inspirations and Transformation are within us!  The challenges we face is we allow to be buried under all the negative excuses. All the excuses and beliefs we have fabricate over the years. It is hard to find strength within ourselves when we feel so emotionally thrashed. We create these limitations for ourselves, and to top it off, we create the fear that keeps us from excelling past them.

Fear has its place in our lives.  It is an instinct meant to keep us safe. It is the basis for fight or flight reactions. Then there is the fear we create to keep our emotions and egos safe. This is F.E.A.R (Forget Everything And Run). It is the fear that is created within us, which makes us afraid to love, afraid of failure, afraid of success, afraid of being rejected, and, afraid of just being ourselves. 

When we create these fearful emotions most likely we are basing the fear on past events. opinions or something fabricated in our head. These are the fears that keep us “emotionally safe” – safe from getting hurt again. Remember, our feelings are based on either pain or pleasure. If we know something is going to cause us physical or emotional pain, then we are going to avoid it at all cost.

            There are so many people who would like to change their lives but feel stuck. The fear of deciding to change stops them in their tracks. So, they stay where they feel safe even when they know they are not happy.

We would rather cling onto what is familiar and safe than chance a fear becoming real.  We tend to clench up, fold our arms, back away, give an excuse, or alternatively we create a “real” reason as to why we have to run from the unknown.

Fear can take over our lives. It can keep us from having the relationship of our dreams just because we are afraid that “all” of our relationships will end in a breakup or a divorce.

Fear can create a nervous disorder, phobias and even paranoia. I know a family that experienced one of the small earthquakes in California. To this day they sleep by the door on the floor instead of upstairs in their bedrooms.

Fear can become debilitating. It can also cause loss of opportunities and create regret.  When fear becomes the stronger emotion, we must stop and ask ourselves, “Is there a real danger?” Why are we Fearful (Full of Fear)?  What experiences from our past or in our present lives have caused us to feel this way?

            I gave a goal setting seminar to a company in San Diego. After two days of my workshop, I had a gentleman approach me with his story about fear. He shared with me that during the companies weekly meeting he would have suggestions to improve the sales of their company’s product. However, he was too fearful to speak up with his ideas. He went on to tell me that within a meeting or two, someone else would inevitably come up with the same idea, which would then be implemented into their sales force.

            He watched over time as others advanced within the company because of the same ideas he had been too afraid to voice.

            I asked him why he let his fear hold him back. He obviously had the experience and knowledge to advance his career.

            He went on to tell me that he was afraid that his ideas were stupid, and everyone would look at him as if he were an idiot. I asked him if he thought the other people who expressed the same idea were idiots. He laughed and said, “No.”  I asked, “Then why would you think they would think that about yourself?” He replied, “I don’t know.”

            I asked him how he felt about his ideas. He told me he thought they were solid, productive ideas. “Then why do you think your colleagues would think your ideas are stupid, when time and time again you have seen otherwise?” He finally said to me, “I guess because when I ran these ideas by my wife, she thought they were stupid and told me that nobody would ever listen to me.”

I thought to myself in a sarcastic tone, “What an inspiring spouse” I looked him in the eyes and said firmly “Just because someone has an opinion of what they think will or will not work does not mean they’re right.” I could see a combination of realization and then sadness come over his face. I suggested he write down his idea for the next meeting and email it to whom would be interested in his suggestions. I said, “What’s the worst-case scenario?” It may not be the right timing for his suggestion; however, I cannot imagine anyone calling you stupid.

            The fear he felt was not a matter of what his colleagues thought, it was the fact he did not feel secure about himself based on his wife’s opinion. He was afraid to speak up during a meeting as he thought others would judge his ideas, the same way his wife judged him.

So next time FEAR comes into place, Forget Everything And RISE!!! 

Do not miss out on opportunities.

Do Not Allow Other’s Opinions to Become YOUR Reality!! – Coach Mikki

Desserts = Stressed

Eating Our Emotions

After a stressful day of work, my plan of action was to walk directly to the cabinet.  I knew this is where I would find all the answers I needed emotionally in the bag of chips that would be there waiting for me.

As I reached for the chips I actually stopped and stood there for almost five minutes fighting with myself. I said things like “I‘ll just have a few”; knowing that was a lie. I knew I would devour that bag of chips as if I was in an eating contest.

I had created a mental habit of binging when I was stressed.  I could feel it, the trigger and urge that would be a temporary fix to the way I felt. I was trying to feed my feelings with food which left me even more starved emotionally.

I finally focused and said “No, I am not going to eat these chips or anything else in this cabinet.  I’m not even hungry. I’m just going for the chips because that is what I have always done.”  It was like an “on” switch, which my mind had clicked on its own.

My own journey of dealing with emotional eating has led me to help others cope with emotions that have held them prisoner to a cheesecake. . Many times this is the reason we have the yo-yo effect with diets and exercise.

We need to be emotionally fit to be physically fit.  Using the tool FIT –  F – Feelings    I – Impact   T- Take Action,  will help us to overcome and change the urge to binge and break the eating habits.

F-  What am I feeling?   I – What will be the Impact on me if I eat instead of dealing with the emotion in a healthier way?  T – Take Action and replace the eating with a more productive and positive way to be healthy.

My passion for the past 20+ years has been to help others transform their lives. As  the creator of the Got Baggage? ™ Series.  My new book Got Baggage? –“Unpacking the Pounds”, offers insight and the tools to overcome emotional eating. – https://www.amazon.com/dp/0989447219

Please tune in every Monday and Thursday for our podcast!

Please visit – http://www.CoachMikkiandFriends.com

Stay Inspired My Friends!!

And Always Remember.. The Most Courageous Thing You Can Do… is BE YOURSELF!!!  Love, Mikki

GRATITUDE is a HAPPINESS Magnet!

It was a crazy Monday, and here I was once again sitting in the car line waiting to pick up my son. Where many find it annoying to wait in this conglomerate of rushing parents, I embrace that 5 minutes to breathe after a jammed packed day with back to back events. As he got in the car and threw his backpack in the back seat, he went on to tell me how he had 3 quizzes and only had prepared for 2. He went on to say “I also forgot my lunch on the counter this morning and I am so hungry.” Without a pause, he continued with, “So glad we have football today, at least it’s something fun”.

I thought to myself, within less than  one minute my son went from acknowledging the things that were difficult, and ended it with something he was grateful for, that made him happy.

It made me realize how quickly and how in control we are of our happiness based on gratitude. Something as simple as being thankful can change everything emotionally and mentally within a split second.
As we drove home, he went on joyously listening to his music; I went on pondering the powerful moment that just occurred. How easy and clear is it, that we get caught up in our everyday lives and events that the smallest time frame and moment of gratitude can change our whole mind frame and the way we feel.
I know we are aware of the big things to be grateful for, such as our health and our families.
We can even be thankful for avoiding a situation that would have ended in tragedy. I myself have blurted out, “Thank God I stopped to look before going, as someone unaware just ran a red light”
We all have experienced gratitude for the big things. However, when is the last time we stopped to be grateful for the little things that we take for granted every day?

Even at this very moment as you read this, be grateful for the teacher who taught you to read. Be grateful for the individual who planted and picked the coffee beans that you are enjoying in a cup of coffee. Gratitude is attached to Happiness. When we are grateful, failure can be put into perspective. Just because something did not go as planned we can still embrace the positive and move onto creating the success.

There is always something to be grateful for within each day. I challenge each and every one of you to keep a post it note nearby and at the end of the day write down one thing you are grateful for that day. Begin with I am thankful for… I am glad that…. I can almost guarantee that each day you will find a little joy that maybe you never noticed before.
Each day you will find positive changes. Positive changes within how you may relate to others, your situation, and your environment.
Gratitude is like a magnet to Happiness, the more you are grateful the more joy you discover in your life.

If you can always find gratitude, you will always have joy… and that my friends is something in itself to be thankful for!

Happy Thanksgiving! – Author , Speaker, Radio Host, Mikki St.Germain – http://www.MikkiStGermain.com or http://www.CirclesofGood.org.

“FALL In Love with YOU”

Fall In LOVE with You!!

Autumn is my favorite season. It is a time where everything is filled with change.  The weather takes on a chill in the air.  We change our appearance with sweaters, jackets and boots that have sat dormant in the back of the closets for months. The kids go back to school and of course pumpkin everything arrives in every food item imaginable. With the coming of autumn, it can only leave us to think that the holidays are right around the corner.

We have two full months prior to the holidays.  So why not use September and October as a time to reflect, prepare and create a solid game plan to change emotionally to enhance our selves personally.  Maybe, instead of “falling” into the traditional idea of eating our way through the next 3 months, we take the time to “Fall” in Love with ourselves and change any negative beliefs into something positive.  Use this as a time to become strong in our physical and mental well-being.

We don’t have to wait for the beginning of the year to be a marker for change.

How wonderful would it be to decide ahead of time that this New Year’s resolution would not be to lose weight, but to make a resolution such as, taking a trip, grow your business with success, create a loving relationship or even learn something new. You would be amazed at how the main focus, time and energy to achieve a fun and prosperous goal will actually come to fruition. When we take care of ourselves emotionally, being healthy physically is easy.   Just as autumn is a time to let go and grow, make this a time for you to let go of emotions and obstacles that keep you from achieving your goals.  Make this your change of season to; “Fall in Love with yourself, your body and who you are” Let YOUR TRUE COLORS SHINE!!!

Mikki St. Germain – Transformational Speaker, Author & Radio Host. Her passion for the past 20+ years has been to help others transform their lives. Attend her workshop every Friday in October, Stop Eating Your Emotions, For more Info, please visit:  http://www.MikkiStGermain.com   949-429-3438

I’m a Role Model NOT a Super Model!!

I have seen it time and time again; people make the comparison of what is acceptable as beautiful and what is considered to be the “average” or the “norm”

We get so caught up in “fitting” in, that we become afraid of being ourselves.  Why do we spend so much time searching for the things to make us feel beautiful, when the reality is we ARE BEAUTIFUL!

If you have been reading my past articles or heard me on air, than you know how strong I feel that binge eating is attached to our emotions.  Many of the reasons most of us binge eat or have diets that fail is that our emotional state is based on our self-esteem.

Somewhere, sometime, somehow, we have let an opinion, a perception or rules of what is considered beautiful become the marker of how we should be as individuals.  I always wonder, who are these people. Is there a secret room filled with those who set “guide lines” of what is considered beautiful? Seriously, and better yet are there mirrors in this room?

“Do not surrender your inner beauty, based on someone else’s opinion”

It took me a long time to realize that it was more important for me to be a Role Model than a Super Model!! Each one of us has a gift that has a way of bringing something wonderful, enlightening and beautiful in to this world. I stopped obsessing over the way I looked and concentrated on what I had to offer.  Before I knew it, my focus on my passion led me to feel more empowered about myself and less concerned about the search for something that would “make me” feel beautiful.

God gave us each a set of different finger prints. I would like to believe that is the reason each one of us leaves our own individual mark on the world by everything we touch. And that my friends, is what makes us beautiful!!

Mikki St. Germain is an Author/Speaker/Radio Host. Her passion for the past 20+ years has been to help others transform their lives. She is the creator of the Got Baggage? ™ Series. (Her books can be found on Amazon)  She is the founder of Circleofgood.org, – Kind Words CAN Make a Difference!  http://www.MikkiStGermain.com   949-429-3438

Food to Entertain Us!!

We’ve all said it at one time or another: I’m bored.

When we are bored we may not be in a good nor a bad mood. We are most likely in “I don’t think there is anything to do so I will fill my time by eating mood”. Boredom can be one of the greatest challenges on the road to a healthy lifestyle.  So how do we break the vicious cycle of standing in front of the frig and allowing a gallon of ice cream to entertain us?

There are two types of boredom. The temporary boredom where there is no other outside pleasure and enjoyment that creates interest, so we use food as something to do. Where if your friends called you and asked you to come over and play a game of Pictionary, the ice cream goes back in the freezer and hence boredom is resolved!!

The second type of boredom is where we use food as a coping mechanism. We crave more and more sugary and high carb foods to feel the reward of pleasure in our brains. When we experience boredom we are actually triggering the need for pleasure. It’s a vicious cycle, the more we eat the more it takes to feel the pleasure. Like it or not, this is why our favorite comfort foods are an addiction.

The ways to overcome boredom and activate the pleasure center in our brains while traveling a healthy path:Bottom of Form

  1. Be aware of what foods you constantly go to as your comfort foods. Ask yourself, “Am I eating this because I want the taste of it or is it because I have nothing else to do? High sugar foods bring on the binge.
  1. Have a game plan of things to do. We all have goals. Put a post-it note in your frig that says” What have you done today to get you closer to your goal.” If you haven’t done anything this is the perfect time to do it.  If watching TV is the main time you find yourself binging, replace the TV time with something else to stimulate your brain. This will not only break the binging habit, you may actually find you have more time in your day J

Mikki St. Germain is an Author/Speaker/Radio Host. Her passion for the past 20 years has been to help others transform their lives. She is the creator of the Got Baggage? ™ Series.  Her new book Got Baggage? –“Unpacking the Pounds”, offers insight and the tools to overcome emotional eating.  She is the founder of Circleofgood.org,  – Kind Words CAN Make a Difference!  www.MikkiStGermain.com   949-429-3438

Eating Our Emotions!

Eating Our Emotions

After a stressful day of work, my plan of action was to walk directly to the cabinet.  I knew this is where I would find all the answers I needed emotionally in the bag of chips that would be there waiting for me.

As I reached for the chips I actually stopped and stood there for almost five minutes fighting with myself. I said things like “I‘ll just have a few”; knowing that was a lie. I knew I would devour that bag of chips as if I was in an eating contest.

I had created a mental habit of binging when I was stressed.  I could feel it, the trigger and urge that would be a temporary fix to the way I felt. I was trying to feed my feelings with food which left me even more starved emotionally.

I finally focused and said “No, I am not going to eat these chips or anything else in this cabinet.  I’m not even hungry. I’m just going for the chips because that is what I have always done.”  It was like an “on” switch, which my mind had clicked on its own.

My own journey of dealing with emotional eating has led me to help others cope with emotions that have held them prisoner to a cheesecake. . Many times this is the reason we have the yo-yo effect with diets and exercise.

We need to be emotionally fit to be physically fit.  Using the tool FIT –  F – Feelings    I – Impact   T- Take Action,  will help us to overcome and change the urge to binge and break the eating habits.

F-  What am I feeling?   I – What will be the Impact on me if I eat instead of dealing with the emotion in a healthier way?  T – Take Action and replace the eating with a more productive and positive way to be healthy.

My passion for the past 20+ years has been to help others transform their lives. As  the creator of the Got Baggage? ™ Series.  My new book Got Baggage? –“Unpacking the Pounds”, offers insight and the tools to overcome emotional eating. To order on Amazon:http://www.amazon.com/Got-Baggage-Unpacking-Overcome-Emotions-ebook/dp/B00X8RLM8Q/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1432577430&sr=1-1&keywords=got+baggage

Please tune in every Thursday for my live interactive radio show “Ask Coach Mik”.  For Events, Speaking Engagements or Book Signings,

Please visit – http://www.MikkiStGermain.com

Stay Inspired My Friends!!

And Always Remember.. The Most Courageous Thing You Can Do… is BE YOURSELF!!!  Love, Mikki

Risk is The ONLY Road to Success!

Risk Is The ONLY Road to Success!

Anything or anyone that has grown above and beyond the considered “norm” of the time has had to take a risk. Most of the time they did it with everyone either laughing at them or doubting it could be done.

Some individuals were so strong in their conviction that they were persecuted and exiled from their homes.

Galileo discovered that the earth revolved around the sun and that the earth was not the center of the universe, which was the popular belief at that time. His life was threatened. To appease those judging him, and to avoid the torture with which he was threatened, Galileo confessed that he had been wrong in saying that the earth moved around the sun. His life was spared, however he remained under house arrest for the rest of his life.

Other people had ideas that society thought were so outrageous, that they were marked as crazy for even coming up with the ideas. Once the Wright brothers had their Kitty Hawk success, they continued to fly in open fields for an entire year.

The Scientific American Magazine published stories about “The Lying Brothers.” Authorities refused to come and see their demonstrations even though letters came in reporting the local crazies and their flying machine. The Wright brothers moved to Europe and became an overnight success, selling contracts to France and Britain.

Yes, risk is a scary thing. But I would rather be happy choosing to take my own risks than continually living my life based on others’ comfort zones.

So what if other people think it’s crazy. People make judgments because they are uncomfortable with the thought of change.  Very rarely can you achieve the ultimate success by staying in your comfort zone.  There is a limited amount you can do within the comfort zone, and eventually you have to venture out.

There is nothing different between you and me, or you and any other person who has created success in their life. The only thing different is that they took action.They started and never stopped.  No matter what detours got in their way, no matter what anyone said, and regardless of whether it had been done before, they kept going. All it took was belief and faith in what they were doing.

(From Got Baggage? – Packing for Happiness, Author Mikki St. Germain)