Casita del Mango, rental in Pescadero

Follow Your Dream in 2014

My husband and I were blessed to visit Mexico three times in 2013.  The last visit we finally met Tori and Mike in person.  We had met them online and they were nice enough to ask us to visit them at their home in Pescadero.  After an hour bus ride from Cabo San Lucas, we arrived at the stop in Pescadero.  Following their directions, we walked down the dirt road near the Pemex gas station.  We courageously walked past their neighbor’s barking dogs and rang the bell on the metal gate.  Harley their dog met us.  We spent the afternoon hearing Tori and Mike’s story of moving from Oregon to Mexico 20 years ago.  Now they have a beautiful casita and one they rent out.  He is a local architect and builder.  She creates and sells pottery.  They were untouched by age, happy, and living their dream.  As my husband and I discussed our dreams, Mike wisely said, “If you have an inkling, do it.”

Road to Mike and Tori's
Road to Mike and Tori’s

What have you had an inkling to do?  Maybe it is an old dream that has followed you from childhood or maybe it is a new dream that has just surfaced.  It can be a single event you want to try like skydiving or it could be a major shift in your life like changing careers.  All too often we ignore our dreams.  We don’t allow ourselves to express them or when we do, we end with “but . . .”  Or we put restrictions on our dreams.  “I need the money first.”  “I need to help out my friend first.”  “I am not smart enough.”  The objections to our dreams are rooted in two things, fear and the feeling of unworthiness.

Casita del Mango, rental in Pescadero
Casita del Mango, rental in Pescadero

Dreams are usually big, or at least feel that way.  It takes courage to strike out and try something new.  It takes fearlessness to jump into the deep end.  However, it takes much more effort and causes much more pain to hold ourselves back.  We may hold ourselves back because we are afraid we will fail (or succeed) and how that will affect our life.  Or we may hold ourselves back because we don’t think we deserve to live our dream.  Others are more worthy or just luckier.  We repeat our mantra that risk-taking has never worked out for us before.

Now is the time to live your dream.

The first step is writing it down.  The written word is powerful to help us clarify what it is we truly want and to help us visualize and feel what it would be like to achieve the dream.

Next share your dream.  The first courageous step is to speak your dream to others.  This is risk-taking.  You are proclaiming what you want and stating that you deserve it.

Then every day, take one small step toward that dream.  Research, meet others who have done what you want to do, prepare yourself mentally, physically and spiritually, and start making small changes to your current life to be in more alignment with your dream.

Wishing you all your heart desires and more in the new year!

What is your dream for 2014?  Share with us here and let us know the first step you will take toward achieving it.  

2013 Holiday Special

My Gift to You

In the spirit of the holiday and to show my gratitude to all my wonderful clients and supporters, I would like to offer new and existing clients a special offer.  Start the new year right with a focus on you, your development, and your joy.

For a limited time, you can receive the four (4) session package for the six (6) session package per session price.  That means you can receive $400 worth of coaching for only $360.  Just sign up and pay by December 31st and have your first session by January 15th.  

Wishing you all wonderful, abundance, and joyous 2014!! 

Melissa Heisler, Stress Reduction Expert

Finding the Cause

Seems like there is a new trend I am experiencing.  Being a guest on radio shows gives me a chance to talk about my latest personal lessons and the subsequent gifts I can share with others. Earlier this month I wrote about how recovering from burnout is an inside job after appearing on the On Purpose Radio Show.  Last week I was a guest on Savvy You and had the opportunity to outline the warning signs I experience when things are not quite right in my life. During the show I clearly articulated the sequence I personally experience when something is not right.  Once we are aware of the warning signs of being off our path, it is time to investigate what is truly wrong and how to make it right.

So often in life we look at the symptoms of our pain instead of the cause.  It makes sense that we look at the symptoms because that is where we feel our pain.  However the symptoms are just there to grab out attention.  Once we are aware from our symptoms, aware that something is not right, it is then time to uncover the true cause of the pain.  I was talking to a client the other day who had an issue with a co-worker.  The discussion started in the world of emotions, what he felt and what he was experiencing.  This client expected the co-worker to remove the emotion he was feeling; he thought it was her responsibility.  Yet as we talked, we found the true source of the pain.  The client truly liked his co-worker and was concerned that the co-worker was not aware of how her actions were being received by others.  When we removed the emotions, we were able to uncover the actionable steps to help the co-worker improve her communication skills.

Here are a few steps I take to find the cause of pain so actionable steps can be taken to bring us back to our right space.

Stop:  As in much of my advice, the first step is to stop in order to gain distance and objectivity.  When we are in the midst of the pain, confusion, and emotions, we can not act clearly.  Step aside.  Walk away.  Turn off.  Tune in.  Give yourself some physical, emotional, and psychological distance from the perceived source of your pain.  This does not need to be a lot of time, but one does need to be completely removed from the situation.  It is necessary to step far enough away that you no longer are exposed to or responsive to that source of pain.

Take the Emotion Out:  To help you have clear objectivity on the issue, it is necessary to first clear out all the emotion.  Emotion can be a symptom that alerts us to unrest, but it is not the cause and it tends to cloud up our thinking.  Emotion needs to be removed in order to see the truth of the situation.  Journal, punch a pillow, cry, go for a run, or whatever you need to release your emotions.

Remove the Us-Versus-Them Mentality:  When we are in our pain, we tend to make it us-versus-them.  We make the other the source of our pain when in fact they may actually be an innocent bystander.  Remove any blame toward the other.  They are not causing your pain.  Our pain is caused by our beliefs, actions, or reactions.  When we release any blame toward the other, we are empowered. 

What Can You Affect:  Focus only on what you can truly affect.  We can not change things in the past, others beliefs, or some circumstances.  Look within your own realm regarding what you can affect.  Dig down to the actionable issues.  Don’t focus on fixing emotions or other symptoms of your being off-track.  Focus on changing your actions, reactions, and beliefs.  What are the true facts of the situation that you can affect?

What Can the Other Affect:  Also look clearly at what the other person can do.  They can not and are not responsible for taking away your emotional pain.  Like you, they can only affect their beliefs, actions, and reactions.  Be aware of making the other responsible for other things outside of their reach. 

Take Action:  Look at your needs, the needs of others, the requirements of a circumstance, and the truth of situation.  What are the tangible actionable steps you can take?

Have you recently become aware of being off-course?  What clarity did you gain by stepping away?  What tangible steps did you take to get back on track?

Savvy You radio interview


Melissa Heisler

It’s An Inside Job

“You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself.  That is something you have charge of.” – Jim Rohn. 

I love irony.  Last month I was interviewed on the On Purpose radio show.  My segment was called, “Take Back Your Life: From Burnout to True Balance.”  We talked about my personal transition five years ago from burnout to a true balanced life.  The joke was, during the interview, I was feeling burnt out.

No matter how vigilant we are, burnout can hit us throughout our life.  We do well until a family member becomes ill and we are the primary caretaker.  We love our job, but due to layoffs we become the only one left in our department.  A relationship we thought was stable becomes demanding and draining.  The source of the burnout looks differently but it all comes back to the same issue.  The issue is focusing outside of ourselves instead of in.

Perception – Pain – Outside

Burnout is caused by giving priority to things or people outside of ourselves instead of putting the priority on us.  We perceive that another’s need or some task is more important than we are.  In doing so we give our power over to this thing outside of ourselves whether it be a person, cause, bill, task, or project.  In saying that it is more important than us, we become slaves and victims to it instead of being our empowered selves.  The result is that we not only feel drained because we have given away our essence, but in putting our needs below the need of something outside of ourselves we then also often lose self-care.  We may give up exercise, eating well, and our daily practices because we perceive we don’t have time.  Burnout is then exasperated by looking for solutions to the burnout outside of ourselves in the form of new jobs, houses, spouses, the latest pill, or our favorite comfort food. 

Here is the usual burnout cycle: 

  • We perceive something or someone is urgent or critical making it now our priority.  In doing so we give up our power and our “right to be” because we have giving something else more importance than ourselves.
  • Because we are no longer a priority we give up those things that feed us (exercise, quiet time, meditation, lunch with friends, etc.) because we “don’t have time.”  We give all our time and effort to the thing or person we deem a priority.
  • Then because we are not caring for ourselves our minds and bodies become run down.  We no longer think clearly.  We no longer have energy.  We can no longer experience joy.  We are exhausted.
  • To try to get our energy back we look for cures outside of ourselves (caffeine, a change in job/house/spouse, etc.).  However these “cures” either mask or exasperate the burnout we feel.  They bring us deeper and deeper into burnout.

To break the burnout cycle we need to look inside instead of out. 

Truth – Peace – Inside

Melissa HeislerTo break the burnout cycle we need to look inside for our priorities, inside for our needs, and inside for our answers.

There are times that other people or things have urgent needs.  The key is to not sacrifice ourselves to them.  The truth is that the only thing we can truly affect and that we are truly responsible for is our own health and wellbeing.  No job, task, person, bill, or anything else is ever a priority above our own mental, emotion, and physical health.  Let me say that again, our only responsibility is for our own health and wellbeing.  No one else is going to do it for us.  It is no one else’s responsibility and if we don’t do it, no one else will.  Anyone or anything which appears to be a priority must be relegated to the energy and effort we have left over after caring for ourselves.  Working from the inside out, we first ensure we are taking care of ourselves so we are in the best place to assist the other. 

If you find yourself in a place of burnout, here are a few tools you can use to return to a good balanced life.

Stop:  When we are in the midst of the pain, confusion, and overwhelm, we can not address it.  Step aside.  Walk away.  Turn off.  Tune in.  Give yourself some physical, emotional, and psychological distance from the source of burnout.  This does not need to be a lot of time, but it does need to be completely removed from the situation causing the burnout.  It is necessary to step far enough away that you no longer are exposed or responsive to the source of burnout.  It is necessary to have distance in order to gain perspective.

Awareness:  Become aware of your current actions.  Are you caring for yourself?  What are you putting into your body and how is it affecting you?  Is your mind preoccupied?  Are you focusing on the negative?  Are you thinking about what could go wrong?  Are you upset that things are not moving quickly enough?  Are you overwhelmed by the number of things on your to do list?  Check how you are feeding your body, your mind, and your spirit.  Is what you are doing helping or hurting you?    

Put Yourself First:  Take back your power from that person or thing you gave it to.  Make a declaration – verbal or written – that you come first.  This declaration is to yourself.  You do not need to make it to the thing or person you gave you power to, because they did not take your power, you gave your power away.  Now you need to reclaim that power.  Realize that you are responsible first and foremost for yourself.  Realize that there is only so much you can and should do for those things outside of you.  Recognize, accept, and celebrate your own inherent worth.

Return to Your Routine:  When I am my best, every morning I meditate, write affirmations, go for a walk, and eat a good healthy breakfast sans caffeine.  This is the way I take care of myself and in return my body and mind are in their best shape for me.  When I break away from this routine, I become sad, exhausted, unclear, and out of control.  First and foremost, one must take care of themselves physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually before they are able to best handle the issues of the day.  Find your own daily routine that brings you joy as well as physical, emotional, and mental health.  Make a commitment to the daily routine above all else. 

Next time you find yourself burning out, the tools above can help you regain your power and your energy.  


Listen to the full interview on the On Purpose Show with Susyn Reeve and Rikk Hansen.

Melissa Heisler

Surrender versus Outcome

In May I posted about The Power of Surrender.  At the time I was learning how surrendering means focusing one’s energy on their mission and passion instead of on tasks and to-do’s.  Surrender is also focusing on one’s heartfelt desires but not being caught up in what it will look like to manifest them.  Surrender is living in the bliss of one’s true purpose without regard to what the end result will be.  And at the time it was fun and easy because there were frequent tangible results helping me continue to surrender and have faith.  As usual, things change.

Melissa HeislerWhat is interesting is that things are still progressing and “wins” are coming out of seemingly nowhere, but it has become harder to recognize and celebrate the positive movement.  You see, I began to create my own expectations for outcome. I began to be specific in what I wanted to see and I created timelines and dates on when I wanted to see them.  As a result of my focus on what I wanted to see, my mood diminished.  Negativity, disappointment, and stress entered my life.  I had stepped out of the joy of doing in surrender and had moved instead into the discomfort of trying to make things go my way and expecting they would.  And worse yet, changing the way I worked to “force” them to go my way.

I can not express strongly enough how this brought me pain.  It changed my mood.  It changed the way I related to others.  It changed how I experienced each day.  It changed my desire and enjoyment in projects.  Overall, it was horrible.  I was not in joy.

At first I thought it was because things changed around me.  I could state a case for this, that or the other being the reason I was dissatisfied.  But hopefully you know by now our experience is the result of our thoughts not things.  Next I attacked the idea of surrender.  If I hadn’t surrendered I wouldn’t be in this situation and then I thought maybe I was wrong about this whole surrender thing.  Further and further I went down the rabbit hole of negative thought, expectation, disappointment, and judgment.

I was pulled from the abyss by talking to a friend.  The friend saw that I was doing what I was doing for others, not myself.  This was true, and has been my modus operandi for my entire life, but this time I realized something more.  It was not because I was acting for others that I received pain.  I would have had this same pain had I acted for myself.  No, the pain came from the meaning I put on my expectations.

Expectations or a specific desired outcome is not harmful in itself.  The harm comes from labeling the expectation.  If I don’t get X then, I am not smart, I am not successful, I am letting others down, I’ll never get to where I want to be, life isn’t fair, etc.  Pain is not from receiving a desired outcome or not, but it is from what we deem the result to mean.  This goes back to experience being the result of our thoughts.  I had added meaning to events and the meaning is what pulled me down.  True surrender is viewing life as it is without adding in our interpretation.  Surrender is living without judgment.

Take a look at your own life.  Identify where you are currently experiencing pain.  Now look not at the situation but look at the meaning you place on the situation.  See if you can change the meaning and therefore change your experience.