Here’s a Quick, Easy Way to Stay Sane

I loathe forced positivity, or hollow advice to “think positive”. It doesn’t really work, have you noticed? Too often, forcing positivity when you’re stressed just creates failure and frustration.

Instead, the most effective thing I can think of as we socially distance and manage the anxiety of this corona pandemic is to live in the NOW. Right now, so this very second becomes your only focus. When you’re truly present, then you can introduce positive thoughts, ideas and feelings. Choose them deliberately and authentically. Find music you love, focus on your beloved pet or loved one, or a place you find safe and comfortable. Then, authentic positivity becomes more available. Screen Shot 2020-03-19 at 1.30.50 PM

Since no one can truly predict the future, or control outside events, driving yourself nuts with fear is utterly useless—and you have the power to try something else. Choose to focus in on only now, imagine your spirit/energy/whatever you want to call it, surging strong, and remember all the things that you love, which can give you an immediate sense of joy no matter what’s on your Twitter feed.

Try it, just for 5 minutes, right now. (Or you can freak out, imagine the worst outcomes, and turn into a crazed beast, which won’t make things better, not even a little bit). Try focus on the now, right now. Reach out to support others, or ask for help if you need it. Download my free eBook, or get in touch with me here. Be safe and well, and in the now.

SWIHA Spotlight: How to ‘Get Out of Your Own Way’

This feature story originally appeared on the SWIHA website:

Mitch Rustad’s journey to becoming a Life Coach was a natural evolution of his passion for personal development and transformation. After a profound experience helping a close friend navigate a severe life crisis, he was inspired to take his interest a step further and pursue an education at Southwest Institute of Healing Arts.

Mitch-Rustad-Life-Coaching-Month-feat“I thought it was time to get some formal training and put my personal passions and communications skills to work,” Mitch explains, “I loved the idea of helping others break negative patterns and ‘get out of their own way.’ I now use that phrase on my business cards and that sums up what the work is all about.”

Mitch has served clients from all walks of life and has observed that everyone’s blocks, or what keeps them stuck, are similar: “It doesn’t matter if you’re single, married, widowed, straight, gay or younger or older. We’re all the same, and we all ultimately want to experience the same things – happiness, harmony, love and abundance. “

His favorite way to start a meaningful dialogue in his sessions is through the use of the “More or Less” tool, where clients list things they’d like more of in their life and things they’d like less of and identify the connection between the two.

“It’s super simple for even skeptical people to grasp and dive into,” he says, “and it makes the road going forward much clearer. In my experience, often people are initially intimidated or skeptical, and this helps them drop their guard and start talking about their life and goals. It immediately opens doors that have been closed for people who never gave themselves permission to dream outside the box.”

Mitch shares this story with us: “I coached a close friend through a personal and professional impasse, which was the most challenging experience I’ve ever had. Despite severe negative blocks and procrastination, we ended up making tremendous progress and profound transformations. It’s because of this experience I know that almost anything is possible and no situation is hopeless if someone’s willing to open up to positive change.”

Life Coaching hasn’t just advanced Mitch professionally; it’s also helped him on a deeply personal level.  He says he comes away from every session with a client feeling like he’s benefited from the experience as well.

“It’s really helped me focus and create real-world changes in myself and others I’ve worked with and to believe profound change is not only possible, it’s inevitable, with this work,” he tells us, “if you’re inspired or intrigued by the idea of Life Coaching, take an introductory class. Do it first and foremost for yourself, because the courses at SWIHA are as much about your own personal growth as about the skills you learn. Open up to the possibilities, have fun, and see where it leads you — to surprising places, I’m willing to bet!”

To register for your free 30-minute consult, go HERE.


Beyond Politics: Creating Harmony in a World Gone Mad

Can a Trump voter live in harmony with a liberal? Can red and blue America truly find common ground in these trying times? These questions are even more pertinent given that the holidays (gasp!) are upon us.

But now that this agonizing election is behind us, I’m thinking it’s time to tackle this tricky topic, because I can answer with certainty – YES.

Controversial, I know!

In a nutshell, you CAN transcend politics, you CAN be happier and more harmonious now (no matter what your shows up on social media), and NO, you can’t wait to do this until the right party wins, or when things calm down. What if that magical day takes years to arrive? As always, our focus has to be on the NOW, and what we can do today.

In the last few days, despite the anger, toxicity and insanity surrounding all things politics — and I’ve felt plenty of that myself at times — I realize that through the use of relatively simple coaching tools, anyone can transcend these very real agonies.


Life is short, so can anyone really afford to put their life on hold until politics gets sorted out? Talk about a dead end!

What makes me so sure? The bottom line is, the human desire for greater joy, wellness and personal peace is universal, and doesn’t have a political party. We can all agree on that, right?

Like most of us, I’ve found it perplexing at times to realize that so many neighbors, friends, relatives and co-workers might have a wildly different view of our country or President than I do. It’s a temptation to run to avoid, shun or judge those people, and blame them for any anxiety or suffering that comes from our toxic politics in this country. At times, we rightfully feel out blood boil, and find the toxic levels of lying and corruption intolerable. I’ve been there, who hasn’t in the last few years, right?

But as I return each day to the basic principles of coaching work with my clients, I realize this work transcends politics (or any other topic, for that matter). I have learned that coaching exercises bring us to deep, more universal places, where we really ARE the same, because we all want more happiness, success, and love in our lives. Amidst the chaos and confusion, it gets really simple. All it takes is a willingness to try, to change, which goes far beyond today’s political winds.

Of course, we all have to address the negative blocks, resistance, anxieties and distortions that hold us back — and THOSE issues very likely have nothing to do with who you vote for — and I find that vastly encouraging in these unstable days. That work probably involves (pardon the pun) liberal doses of detachment and non-judgment, which is easier said than done, of course.

Without a doubt, we all need to stay active and involved in our duty as citizens to create a better country for everyone. But in the meantime, we have lives to live, goals to reach and moment-by-moment fulfillment to grab onto. Life is short, who can afford to put life on hold until politics gets sorted out?  Talk about a dead end!

With the arrival of the holiday season, we all probably will have to interact with various people who may offend our values as citizens and human beings. But as coaching reveals, the ultimate freedom from that angst comes from doing our work, and keeping politics in its proper context. I’ve seen it with others, and in myself. We all DO have the power to sit at a dinner table, or in a social gathering, and NOT be triggered by offensive points of view, and that work isn’t in changing the other person. It’s all about taking charge of yourself.

That MIGHT ultimately mean, you just don’t hang out with people you find toxic to your beliefs. Fair enough. But when you DO have to — family dinners, work parties, etc. — discovering ways to feel SO good, and secure in your own worth, that other people’s anger and discontent dissolves at your feet, is what I call real power. I want more of that, don’t you?

This power doesn’t mean you’ll ever have to compromise core beliefs, morals, and tolerate what you view as bad or offensive behavior. But this power also means that all of us, beneath whatever comfortable armor we may have around our political identities, can reach higher levels of happiness, peace, joy and success, regardless of the latest political chaos around us.

Want to learn more about creating this kind of freedom in your life? For a complimentary, 30-minute coaching session, GO HERE and let’s get started! Here are some testimonials and additional blog posts, too.

Do You Try to Criticize Your Way to Success?

Ready for a shock? Take a few minutes right now, slow down and detach momentarily from your routine, tasks, and to do list, and contemplate this: As you go throughout your day, try to monitor/write down the thoughts going through your mind AS you try to attain those goals. Go ahead, try it now, just for a few minutes.

Did any of the following usually unconscious, autopilot, often socially conditioned responses come up for you?

Why can’t you do it right? Do it faster! You sure about that? What if you’re making a mistake? Maybe they know better than you? Watch out! You’ll never be good enough. You better wait, what if it doesn’t work?

Yikes! This programmed self-critic isn’t HELPING you in any way, but this issue has been coming up some recent coaching sessions, and because my coaching mantra is ‘It’s time to get out of your own way’ that means putting an end to any mindless, autopilot self-criticism.

The mind has thousands of thoughts a day, so we can’t possibly correct EVERY thought that comes up, but we CAN notice them, without attaching judgment. Then, try to let them just dissolve like a passing cloud on the horizon. Casually notice, then dismiss that harsh inner critic, and pay attention enough to interrupt any stream of thoughts that drag you down, de-energize you as you move towards what you want. Try it today, and see how you do. Do these thoughts HELP you in any way?

Are self-criticism, punishment, admonishment, etc., really the BEST you can do to move towards your goals?

You can’t criticize your way to ‘success’ and even if you can temporarily motivate yourself via this kind of negativity, it will be short-lived, and unsatisfying. Is that really how you want to live your life, turning against yourself, cracking that whip, as your best option for achieving your goals? When we understand there are far better ways to self-motivate, which actually make us feel GOOD, fill us with vibrant energy and self-worth (and thus, self-confidence), we can tell that inner critic to take a hike, because we’ve found a better, far more satisfying (and effective) way to be successful.

Try this exercise today, and identify three of your most common forms of self-criticism. Take a hard look at them, and then decide you’re going to release them and choose a more satisfying means of filling up your fuel tank. Write your own mantra, to train your brain to believe success is NOT attached to self-criticism. Before long, you’ll start ticking off that ‘to do’ list with greater ease, and FEEL good in the process. That’s the kind of ‘success’ I’m looking to experience, what about you?

For more information on coaching or to set up a consultation, CLICK HERE

The Art of Focusing on What You WANT

It’s no secret that Twitter can be a toxic landmine of hate and misinformation, but it can also be speckled with insightful (and ultimately inspiring) threads like THIS – which basically surmises that happy people talk more about what they LIKE in life, as opposed to what they hate. As I read it, I found myself shouting inside, ‘yes, exactly!’

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This thread is about observing happy people in Japan, but I’d say it’s pretty universal. I also realized this epitomizes what coaching is essentially all about: A daily practice of interrupting any habitual negativity, and re-focusing on what you WANT, rather than what you DON’T want. Simple, right?

If it were that simple, of course, everyone would be happy and living their dream life. I’m also reminded of what the amazing Esther Hicks has said so often said in her seminars and on YouTube (I’ll paraphrase): “Stop beating the drum of what you don’t want!” As this Twitter thread points out, negativity is almost an epidemic in America right now. What can we all do about it?

So let’s agree, we CAN start doing something, if we want to. But how often have we been caught up in complaining about what (or who) we hate, over and over again? What exactly does that accomplish?

I can hear many of you (myself included at times) saying ‘But it’s true! Look at everything there is to be negative about!’ No arguments here. But focusing on what’s wrong is ultimately a choice, and invariably results in stress and unhappiness. Not fun, not healthy, not useful. What if you deliberately focused on what you WANT to have, right now, for the next hour? Or day or week? What do you think would happen?

If you want better health, more inner calm and fulfillment, make that your focus right this second – choose to disconnect from that tedious (but often addictive, I’ll admit) chat room of discontent, and immerse yourself in good feelings of having what you want– which is often right here, ready and waiting for you, but we can’t see it because…we’re too consumed by what we hate! Do any of us want to spend another day looping in that dead-end pattern?

This leads right into of another mantra I love – it’s time to get out of your own way.

So here’s one practical step to get you started: Write down three things you dearly WANT — better health, a job you love, more calm, etc. — and focus on them throughout the day. Look at them often. Play around, feel as if you already have it, experience that fun, eager, happy feeling of the end result. You’ll feel better, so try it!

While thinking of a way to conclude this blog, I stumbled upon this Tweet, which is a fantastic reminder of why focusing on what you WANT really matters.

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So immerse yourself on focus more often on things you want. Stop complaining. Watch inspiring videos, share funny Tweets, support a worthy cause or start working with a life coach. Do whatever feels right to you, and watch how your life starts to change for the better.