NOW

“Think about it: you’re driving and there’s a giant windshield and a small rearview mirror. Ever wonder why it’s so small? So you can only glance at it once in a while. If you stare and dwell on what’s behind you, you’re gonna crash!”- Derek Hough  (Taking the Lead – Lessons from a Life in Motion)

Today I want to challenge you to have a quick honest chat with yourself about where your mind and focus usually is. 

·      Are you spending a lot of time looking in the rearview mirror?

·      Are you hung up on past experiences, a past broken heart, past failures, past missed opportunities?

·      Are you possibly projecting your past onto your presence in an indirect way?

When I was going through one of the darkest valleys of my life, I had to learn a lesson. It was an incredibly difficult one and honestly, I was kicking and screaming – not wanting to look the presence in the eyes. I was hung up on the ideal world that I thought I had created in the past (which was a total illusion); however, that type of thinking was destroying all possibilities of living my life to the fullest potential in the now. 

I will never forget the moment, when my therapist said this to me: “I need you to stop being obsessed with the past and the future. I need you to tell me what it feels like to live in the presence. I need you to write down everything you feel about walking through this dark valley, this pool of ‘feces’ (she used a different, more fitting word here).”

In other words, I needed to have a real honest chat with myself about where my mind and heart was focused. It seems like a silly exercise, but let me tell you, learning to embrace the presence, focusing on the here and NOW, no matter what it brings, will start bringing with it a sense of empowerment, a sense of control in your life, a sense of peace. The past can hold you captive. It can imprison you in a way that you feel powerless and like a victim of your circumstances. It will not let you face the presence in order to actually move forward positively.

Constantly living in the past can paralyze you emotionally, spiritually and even physically. It can take away energy needed to practice discipline, to develop internal motivation and to experience true joy. The past is part of your story, but it is NOT YOU! 

Some of you right now may think: this is not me - I don’t live in the past! Maybe you don’t, but maybe you are obsessed with living in the future instead! The future can bring hope and I am extremely supportive of dreaming, planning and setting goals; however, not at the expense of living in the HERE and NOW–living your life to the fullest!

If you are up for a personal emotional fitness challenge, take a few moments and do the following:(do this at your own risk and/or seek help from a licensed therapist if you feel you need the emotional support and guidance)

1.    Reflect and have an honest conversation with yourself: do I tend to focus on yesterday? Do I tend to get upset about things that already happened? Am I bitter about experiences I had or with people that hurt me? Do I enjoy 'bathing'in a pool of past experiences? 

2.    Whatever your current life situation is (your career, your health, your relationships, etc.), write a little essay describing what it feels like to live in this/these situations that you are in right now. 

3.    If you discover that you are not entirely happy and content with your life right now, I suggest that you start reflecting on why you are not happy and what you wish was different. Then strategically start working on yourself and the things you CAN control. A good start would be to explore how to start becoming unshakeable. Next, you need to find out what ‘music you are dancing to’ in your life. 

I believe that we each actually have a lot of power to take charge of our mind, our behaviors and our responses to the circumstances in which we are. Don't wait! Start living NOW!

With all my love – Dominique                  

 

UNSHAKEABLE

What is shaking you up in your life right now?

What has knocked you off your feet – either literally or figuratively?

What is it that you just cannot seem to conquer in your life?

It seems that the most frequent comments I hear among the adult world are: “I am so stressed out!”and “I don’t have time!” and “I’m just so busy!”.

It is fascinating how we internalize this notion that we are victims of stress, time and busyness. Like we are completely defenseless, running in a hamster wheel, out of breath, often stumbling and sometimes falling – taken for a constant nauseating spin. We have adapted to simply reacting to whatever is thrown our way and often times, we are not prepared, nor do we have the resources to react in a way that helps us to actually master the bump with grace, strength and wisdom.

To actually start living our lives to the fullest, we need to seriously shift our mindset, our thinking and our locus of control. Life is scary, it is hard, it is often unfair – but continuing to point our finger at something or someone else to take responsibility for which is actually ours to carry, will not take you on the path to living up to your fullest potential. Are you not tired of not being able to live exactly the way you dream of?

Look, do not misunderstand me. I know that we cannot control a lot of things that are thrown our way. But I believe that we CAN choose how we respond to it. I also believe that we can train to be ready and fit for those moments in time where things shake us up, knock us off our feet or where the battle seems endless. Will you freeze? Will you stay down? Will you give in and give up?

If you are tired of being stressed, too busy or not conquering these hurdles in front of you, and you are ready to get off that hamster wheel, I am cheering you on! Do it! Today is a great day to start taking responsibility and making positive choices!

This choice will require a number of important elements, such as being honest with yourself, re-organizing your priorities and values, re-organizing your activities, schedules and relationships. It will require you to add new things into your life and cut out others. To help you with a framework, I will share a basic concept with you today.

I believe there are four key areas, in which we have to make daily choices and take responsibility in. Once we begin doing that, we will start building up strength, flexibility, endurance and ultimately resilience.

1.     Care for your body

2.     Care for your mind

3.     Care for your spirituality

4.     Care for your relationships

For each of those areas, we need to create intentional goals and a specific plan of daily action. Rather than reacting, we start living a life of training, preparation and execution. You will start feeling more balanced, more at peace and in more control. And the beauty is, even when you do get knocked down, you will not stay down for long, because you have trained to be unshakeable.Being unshakeable does not mean that you will not fall – it simply means you are prepared to fight and you have built up resources to be able to fight.

To get you started with some specific tasks for each of those areas, I will give you some simple, easy, general tasks below, that will give you an idea how you can start your training.

1.     Start incorporating 30 minutes of intentional exercise into your daily routine (even if you have to break that up into three 10-minute bouts)

2.     Create a gratefulness jar (use an empty vase and cut up a bunch of blank little pieces of paper). Every morning, write down one thing that you are thankful for and put it in the jar.

3.     Spend a few minutes every day in prayer. If you do not believe in anything greater than you, then meditate on the complicated, yet extraordinary way your body and mind function.

4.     Pick one person in your network each day and send a message of care, kindness, love or encouragement.

 

To live your life to the fullest and to be unshakeable, you must choose to change, take responsibility and get off the hamster wheel. You are strong, beautiful and capable. You have been created an extraordinary being and it is time to unlock your potential. Do not hold yourself back. Become unshakeable! 

 

 

MOVE IT

Ask yourself truthfully: do I tend to be a 'mover' or am I typically rather 'stationary'? 

Each day, how many hours do you stay 'active' versus being 'sedentary'? 

Our bodies, in the multi-dimensional sense (body, mind & spirit), are fascinating creatures, with mechanisms that (are supposed to) work flawlessly every second we are alive and breathing. Every aspect of our inner being wants to and needs to stay in motion to be able to work. 

Teaching thousands of people over the last 15+ years, I have come to learn that most of us human beings are very unfamiliar and uneducated about ourselves - the human creature - and thus, we are incredibly careless about how we live in and with our bodies, minds and spirits. Isn't it peculiar that we truly know more about our electronic devices, cars and other peoples' drama than about how our own bodies actually function best? 

Choosing to join the MISSION to become FULLY ALIVE, will mean that there is a journey ahead, but it will be one that is absolutely worth it and once you get going on the path, you won't want to turn back!

The first lesson in the journey to become FULLY ALIVE is to understand that our human bodies, minds and spirits work BEST when we are in motion! This means that the more we move, the more effectively and efficiently our entire engine and mechanisms function. Interestingly, Newton's first law of motion truly says it brilliantly - namely, that objects that are at rest tend to stay at rest and objects in motion tend to stay in motion UNLESS an unbalanced force interferes. 

It is time NOW to 'interfere' with your tendency to remain stationary - physically, mentally and spiritually - and to start moving it! The key is to start small, simple and in a manageable fashion to implement small changes. The impact and results will be brilliant! You will start feeling more energized, happier, sleep better, think more clearly, be more productive, do things faster, focus better, become more fit and healthy. I could go on and on excitedly listing all the phenomenal benefits you will experience when you start "moving it" - but I suggest: see for yourself!

I want to challenge you to start implementing CHANGE #1in your journey to become FULLY ALIVE#moveit 

1. No matter your current activity level, find pathways to move just a little more than you already are. Add a 10-minute walk to your day. Stand instead of sitting. Take a 2-minute movement break every 30 minutes while sitting. Choose active hobbies and activities with your partner, families and friends. (Last night my girls and I just simply held our own 'dance party' in the living room instead of watching a movie = CHOICE!) 

2. Get a device to start counting your steps each day (free apps on your phone!) and see what you are actually accumulating versus what you think you might be doing. Once you know, aim to get 1,000 more steps each day until you get to a minimum of 10,000 on a regular basis (more is fine too!)

3. Evaluate your home and work environment and think about how you can re-create it to encourage movement versus sedentary tendencies! (e.g. convert your work station into a standing option, get some portable fitness equipment that is simply visible to remind you to use it - resistance balls, resistances bands, yoga mat etc.)

4. Turn on your favorite tune in the morning when you get up and dance to it while you get ready for the day (at least 5 - 10 minutes)! 

As soon as you get your body moving more, your mind and spirit will feel inspired to be more active as well and demand more challenges to keep moving (remember - that, which is in motion will stay in motion!). The key thing is to choose movements that you ENJOY; so, experiment and choose to take action and #moveit. You will start feeling more FULLY ALIVE and you will love it! 

With all my love - Dominique

 

LIVE FULLY

Do you feel that you are living your life to the fullest? 

Are you maximizing and optimizing your full potential? 

The more people I meet, the more I travel the world, I realize that many of us are living extremely unhappy, unsatisfied and unhealthy lives. And in many cases, this is because of the choices that we make day in and day out. 

We are lacking passion, compassion, love, joy and respect for ourselves, our families, our friends, our communities and our world that we live in. We struggle with upholding values, morals, commitment and loyalty and in the end, we find ourselves fully discontent. 

We live in a big, complicated and yet wonderful world, filled with amazing creatures that have the ability to create, change and grow and I believe that if we all chose to join the MISSION to become FULLY ALIVE, we have the power to be transformed and transform for the better. 

I chose to do that and I quit being a victim of negative circumstances and it is not only liberating, but truly breath-giving! There is nothing like taking responsibility and intentionally choosing to change, no matter WHAT your circumstances are. 

I want to challenge you to use this week to take a walk somewhere alone and reflect on these questions: 

1. Am I truly happy with my life? 

2. Are my mind, body and spirit as healthy as they could be?

3. Am I living life to the fullest, maximizing my full potential? 

When you return from your walk, start a journal (written, audio or whatever) and note down your reflections to this question and I am certain that you will discover something that you know you should change. When you do, I challenge you to make an intentional choice to make a commitment, right then and there, to join this MISSION to become FULLY ALIVE

It is going to be truly a mission, a journey of transformation, and it is going to be hard work. But it is going to be worth your while. Once you go this path, you will never want to go back and you will be a change agent in this world to make it a better place for everyone! I know you can do this.

With all my love - Dominique

 

CAN'T LOSE

Never change a winning game. Always change a losing game. – Chet Lyssy 

o   What kind of game are you playing? 

What? What are you talking about? I am not playing any games, you say.

Well, I beg to differ! Turns out, we are all playing a gameIt’s called life. You were picked to play the day you were born. And if you didn't know that - now you do!

Sadly, most human beings are playing a losing game. Many don’t know what it takes to play a winning game. If you are not intentional about living your life to the fullest potential, implementing important key strategies, YOU ARE LOSING!

Non-intentional living severely diminishes your quality of life in every aspect and the chances you will actually develop chronic diseases, or suffer indefinitely from a broken heart, or die prematurely, are significantly greater! Or maybe it will be all of the above. Either way, playing a losing game of life will be much less enjoyable, more damaging, much less satisfactory and it simply sucks. 

One of the most brilliant and influential people in my life has been my tennis coach in college: Chet Lyssy. He knew a lot about winning and losing. And he did not like to lose (and who really does?). He studied the game of tennis in detail and discovered many secrets to winning. He also actually predicted that the Bryan Brothers would be, one day, number one in the world. He was right about that, too. He also made winning players out of losing ones. He won many matches and championships as a coach, and even when he lost, he won - because he always played a winning game!

The lessons I learned from Chet Lyssy about playing a winning game, transferred over into every area of my life. I attribute much of my success to what he taught me. My professional training and education have only confirmed and strengthened these simple, yet profound, lessons.

Every single human being has the opportunity to play a winning game of life – namely living it to the fullest potential, which results in a life of love, joy, happiness, peace, compassion, connection and well-being! And remember, life is not a game, where you can opt to sit on the bench or simply be a ball boy or girl. You ARE on the court and will play, so I kindly suggest that you get on the winning side!

Ready? Set. Go. Here are the key 10 lessons to start playing a winning game:

1.    Show up ready and on time. (=Set your priorities. Manage your time well.)

2.    Listen. (=Surround yourself with wise people. Listen. Learn. Read. Observe.)

3.    Practice. (=Exercise. Work hard. Be active. Be disciplined. Be mindful. Pray. Reflect. Train. Eat well. Sleep enough. Drink water.)

4.    Keep it simple. (=Establish positive habits. Build a minimalistic, clutter-free life. Use words wisely. Less is more. Manage your stress effectively.)

5.    First serve in. (=Think before you speak or act. Strategize. Plan. Organize. Minimize errors. Don’t hit it if your toss was bad. Serve others.)

6.    Don’t ever take your eyes off the ball. (=Be focused. Concentrate. Be resilient. Be goal-oriented. Don’t get distracted.)

7.    Don’t hit the net. (=Be precise. Be wise. Don’t try to hit the ball through the net – it doesn’t work. Think ahead. Hit with purpose.)

8.    Hit the ball deep. (=Be passionate. Aim. Dream big. Put yourself in an advantageous position. Follow through.)

9.    Get balls back. (=Never give up. Hustle for every single ball. Have endurance and perseverance. Never be lazy. Keep going until the job is done).

10.    Keep your head up. (=Always play a fair game. Be kind. Be gracious with yourself and others. Look up. Embrace. Love. Laugh. Always shake hands. Always hope. Always smile. Use failure to grow and get better. Try again.) 

If you are playing a losing game right now and are not living your life to the fullest, it is time to change. Always change a losing game. And when you start playing a winning game by implementing these ten lessons, you can't lose and WILL always remain on the winning side – even when you lose a game or a match in the tournament of life!

With all my love – Dominique

P.S. I am dedicating this blog post to my coach Chet Lyssy, who has made me a better person, player and fighter. Who taught me how to live a winning life and always get balls back. I will never forget you and thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you have done for me and many other peanuts and Frenchmen on this earth. You are a legend, my coach and mentor for life. Thank you!