Feeling unfulfilled? Ask how, not what.

Emilie Hoffman,     mind/body guide
 
Why am I so unfulfilled? What can I do that will fulfill me? I wanted this so much - shouldn't it feel more fulfilling?
 
I think the question of fulfillment is confusing because we don't often ask it the way we really want to. We usually ask "Is _____________ fulfilling for you?" when a better question might be "Is the way you're ______________ fulfilling to you?"
 
It is not accomplishments that fulfill us; it is alignment. It is not what we do, but who we are. I'll cut to the chase and say that anything and everything I've ever gotten fulfillment from has featured these three elements:
  • My own needs were met (and if someone else was involved, so were theirs).
  • I was living in alignment with my values (and if someone else was involved, so were they).
  • I was embodying my unique essence (and if someone else was involved, so were they).
Here's a list of things I thought would fulfill me (spoiler: they...
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Boundaries as thresholds, not walls

Emilie Hoffman, mind/body guide

When I read anything about interpersonal relationships or self-love, it seems like boundaries are the new black. 

And I agree that the identification, execution, and maintenance of boundaries is a very important skillset if you hope to be thriving, fulfilled, authentic, and resilient. 

But there is a misconception floating around that boundaries are supposed to be and need to be big, impenetrable walls. Truthfully, boundaries done that way can accidentally be a seed for unnecessary shame to grow. When we tell ourselves something shouldn't ever come into our reality and then we end up faced with it, we find ourselves ashamed of being or being associated with that which we've labeled off-limits, bad, or wrong.     

I have found the most effective approach to boundaries is when boundaries are really thresholds. They are transparent. They have context. They need protection. It's okay to make them flexible if you want to (but...

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Where Did You Come From, and What Are You Doing Here?

Emilie Hoffman      mind/body guide

My clients ask me a lot what my spiritual beliefs are.

Where do I think I came from, and what do I think I'm supposed to be doing here? My answer is sometimes vague, I can't always find the right words, and my understanding is ever-evolving.

It's also a little awkward to explore these questions in a place and time that tells us religion and politics are best left private matters.

What I know is that connection is everything and exploring different versions of reality can be magical, so here it goes. 

I think I came from an infinite source that transcends human understanding, and I'll go back again when my physical body is done. I think I'm here to discover and grow my own gifts to share with the rest of the world, and vice versa.

It's not so much that I have gifts like they are a tangible piece of property, but rather that they are qualities and knowing that flow through me. I'm committed to practice connection...

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I'm Here.

Emilie Hoffman, mind/body guide                                                       

I love this time of year. 

This is the "very hungry caterpillar" time of year when we partake of abundant harvest and then send our energy inward so we can sustain our spirits and fuel transformation in the deepest places.

(That's just a flowery way of saying I love self-reflection.)

Then, we're ready for spring when we get to pop out of our cocoons and teach ourselves to fly. 

Some people think the flying part is the scariest because we are vulnerable out in the elements of our external world and we'll have to get back up and try again and again. It takes a lot of resources and a lot of oomph!

But the time of cocoon has it's own challenges. It's subtle and requires endurance, so we have to have self-discipline and gratitude. It doesn't look...

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Nailing the Balance Between Play and Responsibility

Emilie Hoffman, mind/body guide

I have at many points in my life not looked forward to my weekend because I couldn't find a balance between play and responsibility. 

1. I would be pulled in so many directions with obligations, over-scheduling, and crossed boundaries all week that I had to do all of my personal responsibility self-care stuff all weekend and didn't have time or energy for play. 

2. I totally ignored my personal responsibility self-care stuff and did a bunch of random whatever "fun" things, but it never felt that fun and didn't recharge me because the whole time my personal responsibilities were nagging me from the back of my mind. 

Does this sound at all familiar, and if so, have you been telling yourself that it's happening because you're bad at organizing, you're too easily overwhelmed, or you just suck at doing life?

Well, here are some other possibilities to consider:

You're conflating responsibility and commitment with...

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The Change You Wanted Was Rejected

Uncategorized Aug 29, 2019

Emilie Hoffman                            mind/body guide

Sometimes the universe throws something at you that is all at once crushing and hilarious.

I sat down here to write you guys this post and I got an error message from my computer "The change you wanted was rejected."

LOL! That was just too fitting.

So, I've been talking a big game lately about huge life changes and I found myself in a place where I believed I was doing too much talking and not enough doing. 

I put my foot down to do more doing that reflected my talking, which I thought meant making a huge change!

But to be honest, the closer I've gotten to my action date, the worse I feel. My excitement is waning, I feel more tired, stuff my husband does is bothering me, and I'm dissatisfied more often than usual. Yes, I have been noticing all of those things, but I was also doubting what I was noticing because of the whole "feel the fear and do...

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In Praise of Relaxing, and How To Do It

Emilie Hoffman             mind/body guide

Have you ever kept a log of the circumstances under which your best ideas arise?

I'm a really creative person. I'm also a mom of a toddler with my own business, three pets, a house, and a marriage....so I have lots of responsibilities that demand a lot of time and attention.

I can tell you for 100% fact that my best ideas do not come when I'm worrying about stuff, trying to take care of other people, or doing chores at lightening speed with the determination of someone who only has a two hour nap window to clean half a house. 

Every creative epiphany I've had comes when I let go of my agenda for day-to-day life. 

My ideas come when I'm standing in the shower leisurely washing my hair. They come when I'm gazing into the trees surrounding my back deck, and when I'm laying next to my kid after he's fallen asleep. 

Because, finally, there is space to create freely. Not to "fix" something,...

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Everybody is Perfect

Emilie Hoffman            mind/body coach

Does reminding yourself that "nobody is perfect" bring some kind of comfort?

I want to challenge you on that, and here's why:

Because when we say that, what we are often doing is giving ourselves permission to see ourself as fundamentally flawed....basically like we're saying "I totally suck, but so do other people, so it's fine."

Eww. That thought makes my body feel gross. How about yours?

There is a difference between you as a human being, a unique soul in the universe, and your behavior. There is also a difference between your human intentions, needs, and desires and your behavior. 

Just because the path you've chosen to meet a need, fulfill a desire, or execute an intention isn't the nicest path does not mean your need, desire, or intention is bad. 

When we equate unhelpful behavior with invalid needs, desires, and intentions, everybody suffers. Just don't do it. Yes, I'm being firm here...

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A note on goal-setting

Uncategorized Jul 30, 2019

Emilie Hoffman      mind/body coach

Ahhh goals. Where would we be without them? 

How do you set and work toward goals?

I've tried all kinds of different ways. 

When I was a young, young kid goals were all about surprising myself with what I could discover, learn, do, and feel. 

When I was school-age, goals were about aiming just right so I looked good and didn't mess up too much. 

When I was a teenager, my goals were all over the place, but mostly about trying to  prove I was worthy of love and respect.

When I was in college, goals were about piling one achievement on top of another, yet never feeling good enough.

In grad school, goals were about always comparing myself to others and making sure I combined enough academic and emotional goals together to feel constantly burnt out and anxious.

As I was reeling from the second abusive relationship of my life, I took a long, uncomfortable pause to ask "Why do I keep doing this?...

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What Are We In This For?

What are we in this for? I believe we're in it together....and if you're reading what I'm writing then the very thing I'm in it for is happening. 

Connection.

I've known forever that connection is one of my highest values. It's something that simply happens with ease if I don't actively resist it. Part of the reason I'm introverted is because it's a lot for me to manage everything I feel and perceive when I anchor into the energy of my surroundings and the people around me. 

Maybe you feel the same way. 

I used to go through waves of being high as a kite living the love vibe and then dump into a pit of despair because I'd get too involved with the heartbreak of what's out there in the world. I still do feel the waves, but they don't control me like they used to.

Now they're fun because no matter what kind of wave I'm feeling, I'm feeling...which means I'm connecting to myself. 

And there is always joy in real connection. 

I've...

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