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Mildred Lynn McDonald

Give Yourself the Gift of You
By Mildred Lynn McDonald

Your life. Try it on for size. Is it the right fit, color and style for you? In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, many of us have super-sized, revved-up versions that are simply too big and cumbersome to be truly rewarding.

How does this happen? Usually by being distracted and settling into comfy, one-size-fits-all life "moo-moos" or tent dresses that cover the true, essential beauty of your Life Force essence.

As a life coach, Iíve had the privilege to observe people, coast-to-coast, step out of their over-sized moo-moos to discover the true beauty of their being. In a way, it is similar to making an annual "here comes spring" commitment to more exercise and better eating Ė but at a much deeper level, at the Life Force (Qi) Energy level.

What is Life Force (Qi) Energy?

Simply put, Life Force Energy is the Universal light consciousness that enters the physical body when you are born and leaves the physical body when you depart; it is the timeless current that puts the high voltage sparkle in your eyes and connects you to the Universe at large. Life Force Energy, when harnessed and directed, is a captivating way to blossom into your highest potential Ė known, or yet to be discovered.

The reason I love to work with people at the Life Force Energy level is that it lends itself to practical tools that empower at the "intention" stage; the energetic bus stop just before Life Force Energy starts to manifest Ė mind, body, emotion, dream and spirit Ė in the physical world.

In addition, the process of life coaching has often re-affirmed that learning to navigate thorough the "how to" of personal growth is the first step in discovering oneís true Life Force essence. Interestingly, it is often the Third Chakra Ė or the "self-to-self" Chakra Ė that causes a good bit of discomfort, angst, anxiety, and resistance, as one embarks along the happy trail.

Shake Your Own Hand First!

Today, most people know the importance of health and balance. The common sense way to secure this goal is to invest in a daily routine of care for the "self." The concept of self-care usually fits comfortably in the intellect, until it comes to diving in and actually giving time to you. Yes, this is when "guilt" often kicks in and kicks up a fuss.

Why is this? Perhaps it is left over life fabric of early years, an ingrained belief that links "self-care" with "selfishness," or simply habit. Whatever the source, Third Chakra Life Force Energy is often a force to be reckoned with and gently nudged along the personal growth trail.

As many people hurl themselves in a race where the first prize is exhaustion, the most common reasons, from coast-to-coast, for not investing in self-care are: "I donít have time," "Itís selfish," and "I donít deserve it." And the infamous, "I canít ask, and even if I could, who would I ask?"

The net-net is that these reasons, although very real to the person experiencing them, act like a big dab of Crazy Glue keeping you stuck in a life pattern that limits, numbs and agitates. This is where the Third Chakra comes in, and the concept of "Shake-your-own-hand-first!"

Picture this. You are in a room full of people, there are hundreds, no thousands of hands just waiting to be clasped, and the line is endless. But wait; before you extend your reach, your hand presents itself. You clasp your hand securely and feel a sense of calm, clarity and connection with the Universe. From this place of self-to-self alignment, you are able to decide which hands to shake and when, knowing full well that if you donít shake someoneís hand, the Universe will provide another hand for them to shake if it is in their highest interest. All of a sudden, you relax, take a deep breath and start enjoying you Ė and your life!

Shake your own hand first! means flipping "I donít have time" to "I have all the time that I need"; "Iím selfish" to "I invest to be the best for myself and others"; "I donít deserve it" turns into "I am equally worthy"; and the infamous, "I canít ask, and even if I could, who would I ask?" turns into "The Universe will provide".

Once you make the choice to flip non-life supporting energy such as "I donít have time" into life-supporting energy such as "I have all the time that I need," your Life Force Energy automatically starts shifting into alignment with your highest purpose potential Ė momentum builds, and the magic of synergy, synchronicity appear with more frequency. Most importantly, with the power of choice, you learn how to reclaim your sense of "self" and the process of discovering the true, essential beauty of your bold, beautiful Life Force essence has begun!

Shake Your Own Hand First! Exercise:

1. Find a quiet spot. Relax. Connect your breath with your heart (3-4 slow deep breaths)

2. List of five reasons that you use when you choose not to "shake your own hand first." Beside each reason, note your feelings and how your body reacts. Continue to connect your breath with your heart. Give yourself the gift of being fully in the moment with you. Relax.

3. Flip or shift the Life Force Energy by rewriting each reason (above) from the perspective of choosing to shake your own hand first. For example: "I donít deserve it" flips into "I am equally worthy." Beside each reason, note your feelings and how your body reacts. Continue to connect your breath with your heart. Give yourself the gift of being fully in the moment with you. Relax.

4. Starting now, list one action item that you can take this week to help you "shake your own hand first." Beautiful stuff!

Good news! You can do this exercise by yourself or with two or three other people. Enjoy!

Making Inner Peace a Priority

When working with coaching clients, I often encourage them to connect with their center and from that place of inner wisdom and empowerment, make the life choice of the moment. This sounds straightforward in theory, but many times, the following three practical, and most welcome, questions arise:

1. How do you "know" when you are connected with your center?

2. How does it feel?

3. How do you stay connected to your center?

The best way that Iíve found to communicate the sense of inner peace is through the life-supporting energy vibration of "happiness".

Do you know what makes you happy? When I say "happy," I mean in the joyful sense; that magical electricity that tingles from the top of your head to the tips of your toes Ė a feeling that has deep roots in the faraway, exotic land of personal "fulfillment".

Happiness, Success and Fulfillment

For a while, I was toying with the ideas of happiness, success and fulfillment. As a society, we are reared to have a good working knowledge of what is required of us to be successful; hard work, talent, a snazzy outfit, a power lunch or two; and perhaps even a little luck. We are less sure (and secure) about what is required of us to be fulfilled. This is true for both individuals and as a collective Mc-Instant generation.

Do you know the difference? According to the dictionary, success means someone who attains fame, power, and wealth or is judged favorably by others Ė in short, a winner with a capital "W"; fulfillment means a feeling of deep, inner satisfaction. The subtle difference lies in the area of internal verses external validation.

In real life, I often come across many people who are struggling with the push-pull of the success verses fulfillment equation Ė so much so that I can almost feel them rocking to and fro. This motion often continues until the person has an "ah" moment and chooses to identify, accept and embrace what makes them personally happy Ė regardless of what society says or values. After a shaking off period, an enhanced sense of self-worth, confidence and personal fulfillment blossoms. The influence of external or success-oriented valuators (status, money, looks) become less important, lose context and fade like an echo (instead of roaring like an ear-piercing yodel).

The other characteristic of the healthy personal fulfillment journey is that often, what makes people happy is astonishingly simple and accessible. The linchpin seems to be when a person decides that the only measure of success is the degree to which their success is in-sync with their Life Purpose Ė which interestingly enough, just happens to be the personís greatest opportunity for happiness and fulfillment in this lifetime. Voila!

Do you know where you stand on your personal success verses fulfillment scale? Just for fun, try the Success vs. Fulfillment Exercise below:

Success vs. Fulfillment Exercise:

1. List four items that would be part of your personal definition of success; then do the same for your personal definition of fulfillment.

2. Highlight or circle any areas where success and fulfillment overlap.

3. Rate each item on a scale from 1 to 10, 10 being what is most important to you today.

4. Take each item that you have identified as "success" and note what it would take to make that item shift into "fulfilling".

5. Post your Success vs. Fulfillment list and refer to it often. In one month, revisit your definitions and rating scale.

Good news! You can do this exercise with yourself or with 2 to 3 other people. Enjoy

As a life coach, it is rewarding to have the honor to observe a human being "shake their own hand first," learn to discern between success and fulfillment, and realize that they really do have everything they need to be happy, healthy and fully engaged in life. It is even more rewarding to walk a path that shares Life Force (Qi) Energy skills, insights and processes that help harness and direct mind, body, emotion and dream energies at the "intention" stage, that "I choose " spot just before Life Force (Qi) Energy manifests in the physical form. It is akin to a beautiful, turquoise Hawaiian flower blossoming in spring.

So why not throw off that one-size-fits-all life "moo-moo" that is covering up your Life Force Energy, your true self? Ultimately, it is up to you to create your life, try it on, see if it fits, twirl around and experience the wonder of being alive. This is the greatest gift the Universe has to offer to you. Take it. Give Yourself the Gift of You!

© Copyright Mildred Lynn McDonald 2005. All Rights Reserved.

Mildred Lynn
Mildred Lynn McDonaldís life adventure has whisked her across North America, through the industries of Health & Fitness, High Tech and Publishing, and into the executive halls of Fortune 50 companies. The common thread has been a love of people and the sincere desire to help everyone live their passion, find their joy and experience life fully and completely.

Mildred Lynn turned her heartís vision into Applied Ability (www.appliedability.com), a Canada-USA coaching, mentoring and marketing company for mind-body-soul advocates ready to apply their abilities to fulfill their heartís passion. Her clients span from California to Nova Scotia.

Mildred Lynn is a Registered Dietitian (RD), a Certified Integrative Coach (CIC), member of the International Association of Integrative Coaches (IAIC), and author of "Dance to the Beat of Your Own Heart" e-book.

In 2005, Mildred Lynn launched SoulNudge Creates! e-zine to share insights, resources and inspiration from fascinating people (like you!) who have followed their heart's passion to successfully apply their abilities to their lifeís work. SoulNudge Creates! e-zine: www.appliedability.com/newsletter/issue0305


Visit Mildred Lynn at her Website:


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