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Monday, March 10, 2014

Some Thoughts on Abundance

When I ask people what their definition of abundance is, I receive a myriad of different definitions,  The idea of being abundant is personal, and means something different to everyone.  But simply put, I’d define abundance as the “cup runneth over” feeling.  Whether that means a house full of kids, a fat check, more opportunities, happy relationships, it seems that abundance is something we’re all after.  It seems that one similar theme that many feel is that abundance is something we get “after.”  After we’ve written that best seller, worked a business into a million dollar deal, raised the kids and retired, hit the lottery, fallen in love, etc.  But what I’m learning is that we may have it backwards.  Part of our ability to feel satisfied is to extract more pleasure from the things that are right in front of us. Perhaps if we convince ourselves that everything we want are things we already have, our cups will runneth over right now.  After all, if we continue to wait until circumstances are right to feel abundant, it may always elude us.  Here are some ways to fill your cup and feel abundant right now.
1.       Make a gratitude journal that you write in every day.  Not only write what you are grateful for, but WHY.  Spend time looking at all you have now, and remember what you have done to attain it
2.       When you lay in bed at night, review your day as if it were the best day of your life, regardless of what happened.  Review your accomplishments.  Think about what did work out.  Use this time to chase away the negative attitude that may have developed during the day and it will add a sense of fullness and satisfaction. 
3.       Think about a time when you felt like life was really going your way, and things felt abundant.  Remember that thing you really wanted and got?  The person you really wanted to meet and did?  Perhaps a beloved perfume or piece of furniture you acquired after wanting it.  How often have you enjoyed that moment or that thing since you attained it?  Appreciate the things you have received, appreciate all you have right now.  See?  You really are abundant now!

For more information on how you can feel abundant and grateful, and how to connect closer to your angels, visit my website, Crystal Doty

Monday, February 24, 2014

Letting Go- Resistance is Futile.

When I talk to people about letting go of something that is causing them pain, there is always so much tension that fills the air.  It is usually upon discussing something that has happened in their past- something that is clearly not happening anymore, however they are choosing to continue to suffer long after the situation has ended.  Or, it can be something that is occurring presently that they need to let go of, but feel they cannot. Being in resistance to letting go is usually a reflection of an inner power struggle and a need to control. Let’s explore this idea.

 We all know how painful it is to hold on to something that isn’t working out, or something that is unhealthy.  When our minds are firmly wrapped around a desire, our peace of mind is attacked by the obsessive need to control the outcome.  Our source of suffering is usually related to resisting what is actually happening, what has already happened, or what we are afraid will come to pass, instead of accepting what IS.  This includes resisting our own emotions and natural reactions.  Resistance to letting go is resistance to peace and causes a myriad of health issues.  It takes a tremendous amount of faith to abandon our need to control for the sake of our own inner peace.  It means letting go of how we think things should be and accepting them as they are. 

However, there is always a payoff to holding onto your past, or a negative situation or you wouldn’t be doing it.  For instance, how many people can you control by using the wounds of your past to manipulate how they are allowed to treat you  now?  Do people walk on eggshells around you? Are you staying in an unhealthy situation because you are determined change it?  Do you allow someone to mistreat you so that you can manipulate them with guilt later? There is always something we benefit from by making and keeping our sob stories and staying in unhealthy patterns.  In order to let go of something, you might want to explore why you hold onto it.  And don’t give me the whole, “Oh, I needed to learn a lesson” crap.  You can learn from a situation the moment it happens, you don’t need to hold onto anything that would cause you pain to learn from it.  That’s like saying you need to stand in the fire for a long time before you understand it burns.  Just admit that by holding on to someone or something that has caused you pain, the sick part of you is getting something out of it. 

Surrendering your attachment to anything that causes you pain doesn’t mean throwing your hands in the air and no longer caring.  It means that you pay close attention to your intuition so you can act on wisdom, rather than neediness or dependency.  Every time you surrender expectations and control, you open up to grater possibilities.

Acceptance of a person or situation doesn't mean that you’re okay or agree with them.  But by accepting what IS, you become solution oriented.  Becoming solution oriented is much more productive than dwelling on what “should” be happening or what “should” have happened.  Remember, anytime you “should” on anything, you’re putting your focus on the problem instead of a solution. Doing that will not give you clarity. I tell clients all the time to get rid of the word “should”, as it only keeps you from moving forward and letting go. 

Think about it.  How would your life change if you were as good at surrendering as you are at trying to control everything and everyone around you?  What do you need to do differently to let go? Here are some examples:
·         Instead of harassing  your child about cleaning their room, or before you become resentful and uptight with your beloved over what you think they “should” be doing or how they “should” be acting, get yourself centered and let go of your need to control. Ask what kind of relationships you would have with people if you quit “shoulding” on them and just accepted who they are.  People are much more apt to cooperate with you when you approach them with acceptance and a non controlling attitude. My kids love to help me clean when I’m cheerful, encouraging, and coming from a space of acceptance rather than focusing on what I don’t like (resistance). 
·         Realize that your past becomes a story to which you victimize yourself presently with and that there is a sick self-abusive payoff in doing so. Before you continue to bring more pain into your life by dwelling on your past, ask yourself who you would be without your sob story.  How differently would you react to life, or what decisions would you make differently if you were no longer the person from your past?
·         Rather than making “one more phone call” to the person considering you for a position, hold back and take a deep breath.  Allow them to respond to you authentically, rather than reacting to your need to control.
·         Anytime you feel the need to control, you will feel resistance and pain. Say a prayer and let it go.  Make your desires and expectations clear then allow yourself to receive guidance and direction. 

So many people pray to be liberated from their pain and turmoil, and yet they resist taking guided steps towards letting it go. Heaven always hears your prayers, and is ever guiding you forward.  However, Heaven cannot do the work for you.  Acceptance of what is, and the willingness to surrender your need to control definitely helps in letting go. When you’re able to put faith instead of fear into your past and future, you make space for clarity and peace.   As the famous AA saying goes, “Let go and Let God.” 

Clarity is power. You deserve to live a life of grace and ease and you can do that by making powerful decisions based on clarity. To learn more, visit 
Crystal Doty

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Very often in our lives we are faced with having to be brutally honest with people.  Some of us will shy away from this opportunity, fearing conflict or reaction.  Others seemingly stand up to the plate with no fear.  However you feel about giving the hard honest truth to someone, it’s never really easy.  Yet, keeping your words to yourself can be extremely unhealthy.  We know that stress causes dis-ease, and when we are feeling the strain from not speaking up, our bodies may speak up for us! When we cut ourselves off from speaking truth, we begin to carry a burden that manifests itself physically.  We might feel strain on our shoulders and neck, we might get headaches, or if it’s something we really need to get off our chest, we may even develop a cold or flu symptoms. 

Here are some things to consider when it’s time to speak up.
  • What is your true motive?  Get CLEAR. Set your intention.  The secret to holding your own in a difficult conversation is to be completely clear about where you're coming from and what point you are making. If your goal is to honor yourself and the other person, your words will come across that way.  If it is to punish, judge, or hurt, your words will land quite differently and will not lead a productive conversation.
  • Stick to the point and try not to get sidetracked. Very often during difficult conversations, we get sucked into our history. Deal with the issue at hand and stay present.
  • Do a dry run.  Ask a trustworthy friend to rehearse with you and give you honest feedback. Or type out your point and reread it from another persons point of view. Ask yourself how you would like someone to speak honestly with you.
  • Be direct and keep it uncomplicated.  Start the discussion with a headline like, “I’m feeling concerned about…”
  •  Never blame the other person for your feelings.  In truth, no one can make you feel anything you don’t want to.  Being accountable for your feelings will help them feel less defensive.
  • What you wish for yourself, wish for the other person.  If you are communicating to this person because you want a sense of peace and because you are honoring your own feelings, keep in mind that this person deserves the same thing. 
  • Remember that when it comes to being honest, the best way to communicate your feelings is to talk about your own experience of the situation. Nobody likes to be told how they feel, how they should feel, or what to do.  In fact, anytime you say the word "should" you are putting the other person on the defense by acting like you know more about themselves than they do. The only thing you really know is your own experience. Be accountable for that experience by changing what is necessary within yourself in order to feel peace. It is never really up to anyone else to change in any way for you. 
  • Always stay calm if the other person gets defensive, and try to see their point of view while standing your ground regarding your own clarity. Be open to hearing their side and perhaps you will learn something. 
  • Try to convey unconditional acceptance of the person while giving honest feedback of your experience. If you keep that in mind, the other person will most likely feel safe enough to talk things through with you.  

 By saying what you need to say, you honor yourself and keep tension from your body and mind.  Speaking up is the healthy thing to do.  If you want more information about getting clear, visit my website 
Thanks for reading!
Crystal Doty

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Get Mad!

Anger is probably one of the most misjudged emotions in our society.  If I wrote an article on ways we avoid anger, it would easily become a novel! However, what I’ve learned is that anger, when used correctly, can actually serve as a vehicle to move us forward in our lives and make changes we would not normally do.  I always tell my clients, “I can clean the hell out of my house and do the dishes like a boss when I’m angry!”  Putting that emotion to work allows me to get things done, and hey, I end up with a clean house!
Sometimes when we are afraid to express our anger, we become passive aggressive.  This is when we show anger in ways that hurt other people but are so under the radar that we can't be blamed.  Besides becoming abusive, passive aggression is one of the most toxic ways to deal with anger. 
Expressing your anger towards another person in a healthy way means that you can stay centered, and that you are clear, direct, and to the point without belittling them, name calling, or engaging in any other verbal abuse. Hinting at how you feel and hoping the other person gets the hint never works.  This is a guarantee that your you'll always feel ignored and misunderstood.  Instead of hinting, you have to clearly communicate your feelings. 
Your self esteem and confidence increase whenever you successfully take a stand for your feelings. This doesn't mean that you're aggressively pronouncing judgments over others. It means that you uphold everyone's rights: yours and those of the other people involved and say what you need to say with grace, love, and firmness. 
The biggest piece of advice I can give regarding powerful emotions such as anger is to just accept them.  Anger is usually expressed negatively when we are in resistance to it- when we are trying to reject, judge, or deny it.  Anger, like all emotions is a part of our human existence.  Everyone has felt anger as a human being. By accepting it as you would accept any other emotion, you let yourself off the hook so to speak and your acceptance keeps you centered.  Resistance creates chaos and pain. I was angry for months after my divorce.  Had I tried to resist the normal feelings that arose, I would have stayed stuck, unhappy, and would have most likely engaged in some very unhealthy habits in order to stuff those feelings down.  Instead, I let myself just be angry until I had processed through the anger and was able to move onto the next step of healing and grief. My healing occurred when I was able to just accept myself no matter what I was feeling, and I began to trust myself with heavy emotions like anger knowing that I would not abuse others. 
Research shows that unexpressed anger can damage your health, contributing to a range of health conditions.  Here are some steps to take to harness that anger so that you can think more clearly and use it for your benefit.  
1.       Take a step back.  Take note of how your react to anger.  Do you pretend it’s not there? Do you start negative self talk and judge yourself for your feelings? Notice your resistance. Do you rush to make peace or do you fly off the handle knowing you can apologize for it later? Raise your awareness in the moments you become angry and observe what goes on inside of your mind.  This self awareness is the key to learning what to do next.
2.       Know when to walk away from a situation that has you boiling.  Nothing productive occurs when you feel out of control, and extreme hostile exchanges hurt your health and everyone involved.
3.       Use the anger to plan your next steps then set your plan aside to visit when you’re cooled off.  You may find that the steps you ultimately planned while you were really hot differ from the ones you’d like to make when you’re cooled down, but notice the fuel you now have to make positive changes in your life.
4.       Don’t explode, but do express.  Sometimes anger can give you the much needed courage to finally say what you’ve wanted to say.  Or it may be the driving force that gets you to truly go for a goal you’ve been to afraid to go after.  When anger is expressed in non abusive ways, it can very quickly and dynamically lead you to a better place than you were had you stuffed it down and ignored it.  Go ahead and get angry! As long as you have a healthy destination in mind, let it carry you there with all of the passion, zeal, and determination it holds. 

For more information about my coaching, visit my website at Crystal Doty

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Becoming Clear About Time Management

Einstein says time is relative.  “An hour can feel like a minute when talking to a pretty girl, yet a second can feel like an hour if you’re touching a hot stove.”  We all know what it is like to lose track of time when we are doing something we love to do, or when we’re engaged in a passionate conversation with someone.   I call these, “moments of bliss”, when clocks seem to tick at a different pace.  But the truth about these moments of bliss is that our everyday life too often crowds them out.  The mountains of laundry, the getting to work on time, and getting to different appointments seem to control our day. Even though we all yearn for down time, we all roll our eyes at the phrase, “I’m busy” because despite good intentions, we are all aching for some breathing room.  We live in a very fast paced society, yet it seems that the faster we get, the more we have to do.  The “do more in less time” mentality isn’t proving itself very affectively because the subject of time is a hot one with my clients.  No one seems to have time for themselves.  When it comes right down to it, that luscious abundance of time we crave reflects a basic desire: to savor life.  We want to drink in the rich connections we’ve created in our family and friends.  We want to do the things we loved doing as a kid- before we became a slave to our watch. 
What we need to understand about time is that finding more of it isn’t about getting skilled at cramming everything in.  Instead it’s more about how much you can delegate and get off of your plate.  For me, learning how to say the word NO was the most empowering thing I’ve ever done.  “No” for me serves as a time machine.  Have you ever wanted a time machine?  Just say no instead. Doing things purely out of obligation or guilt is time draining.  I made a decision a few years ago to only say yes to things that feel good and productive.  Sure you may offend someone who has been sucking your time away from you, but when you say “no,” you’ll open up an opportunity for them to replace you with someone who actually enjoys it and therefore will be more productive.  No one is productive when they do things they don’t want to do.  So do everyone a favor and just say No.
Simplifying your schedule and claiming your time is a matter of living in a way that reflects your life’s natural rhythm.  Here are some things to consider while taking back your time.
·         -Don’t multitask.  Focus on one thing at a time, giving your full attention and doing a much better job at it.  Keep your to-do lists short.  Cut it down to five items a day and start with the most time sensitive tasks.  Once you’ve gotten through your to-do list, resist the urge to get a head start on tomorrow and call it a day. 
·         -When you’re creating your own time, you will notice and limit interruptions or distractions.  Many of us will create distractions like too much tv, games, phone chatting, etc. because we are so burned out we feel the need to zone out.  Create specific times to return calls and e-mails so that they don’t break your focus during the day.  Set a specific zone out time, and stop when it’s time to stop. 
·         -Schedule fun time.  What is fun you say?  It’s doing what you like to do for no reason.  It may take you a while to remember what it was like to do that, but once you allow yourself to have more fun, you’ll realize what I realized. I know that when I give myself a good 30mins-hour to just have fun, I return to my life feeling more energetic and I am WAY more productive.  Having fun is a MUST to reclaiming your time. 

For more information on getting clear, visit my website. –Crystal Doty

Friday, January 24, 2014

A Little Help With Self Help

Everywhere you look nowadays, there is another best seller, article, famous doctor, or celebrity talking about more ways to heal yourself.  It can be very overwhelming for anyone who is just beginning to realize they need help with emotional or physical problems.  Where do you start?  Who do you talk to?  Because it has become more accepted that our physical health issues result from emotional imbalances, and vice versa, it can be very difficult and even defeating to know how to manage the whirl wind of ideas, steps, and advice given from so many sources. 
My personal journey into the self help industry started 15 years ago, after I had my first son.  I was a single mother and in the time I spent alone raising him, I realized I had some major issues that needed more than just an armchair analysis from a therapist.  I needed to dig deep into my belief system that was causing me to sabotage my life and make unhealthy decisions.  I remember walking through the book store, flitting from Self Help, to New Age, to Diet and Nutrition.  I had no idea where to start.  With so many books, it gave me the sense that I’d never be good enough, or that I’d never finish improving.  It felt like I was embarking upon an endless path of introspection that would always lead me striving for perfection.  Many of my clients today feel the same way when they are just opening up to the self help industry.
What we need to remember is that the self  help industry, is just that- an industry.  So it must continually offer new insights and products.  As an industry, there are both good and bad resources.  Many times I will find myself reading an article or book from a well established “expert” only to find that I may not agree with them 100%, and that doesn’t make them wrong or bad.  Like everything, it’s up to us to decide which messages to apply to our own lives.
When you come into the self help industry in desperation (like I did years ago) trying to permanently change yourself, you’ll never be satisfied.    Like an addict, always searching for “it”, always needing a fix, you will be left back at square one after the high of enlightened advice or the feeling of an empowering seminar.  The misunderstanding here is that there really is no “there”.  There is no promised land- a place where we finally arrive and then our lives are perfect with no interruption or conflict.  The idea is that as we become more ok with ourselves, we can better handle conflict in our lives.
In truth, it’s only when we stop hurling ourselves into an idealized future that we can find what we’re searching for.  Consider the basis of most spiritual teachings: An infinite unchanging reality resides at the core of every being.  To experience this reality is to know that we are divine, and that everything that has happened or ever will happen is for our ultimate highest good.  Sometimes we fall into the trap that we can’t feel bliss until after we’ve meditated for hours, studied under a guru, gone to every spiritual seminar, read every self help book, etc.  I urge you to continue learning and growing through books and seminars, but also try to incorporate appreciating you as you are right now, in this moment.  I always tell people, “no worries, no hurries.”  When we get good at staying present, we stop striving so hard.  When we get good at listening to our own inner voice, we stop going into debt paying for advice from the outside.  Self improvement is an ongoing game- fun, educational, and always fascinating. 
To learn more about Crystal, visit her website at and become a fan of Clarity is The Way on Facebook.

Emotional Eating Part 2

Emotional Eating 2 of 2.  How to Heal, How To Hear
Regardless of whether you’ve been dieting since you were 12, or have never stepped on a scale in your life, you’ve been influenced by the diet mentality that is so prevalent in our culture.  This mass mind-state can cause us to view hunger with suspicion, even hostility.  Instead we rely on other peoples ideas and opinions of how we are to eat and treat our bodies.  We chose meals based on what we’ve already eaten, on what we’ve read in a magazine or recommendations from our trainers or mothers who have also been influenced by other people’s ideas.  The biggest problem I see with this mentality is that it separates us from our bodies.  We begin to listen to outside voices instead of what our bodies are telling us we really need.  We ignore the physiological signals from our bodies that we are empty or full, and we lose the ability to decide for ourselves what is right.  I have to wonder, from this disconnect, what other inner voices we begin to ignore.  If everyone outside of us has our answers, when do we stop listening to our inner knowing?  One of the simplest suggestions I give emotional eaters is to just eat when they are hungry, stop when they are full.  Yet most people have ignored their own inner guidance for so long that they have no idea where to even begin.  Recognizing hunger and fullness is hard for many people. 

Shifting your awareness from the outside to inside takes time, patience, and effort.  There is no grater feeling of empowerment than learning how to trust your inner nudges, and that you really do have an inner guidance system that knows exactly what you need and how much.  Begin by simply asking yourself when presented with food, “Am I hungry?” Check your mouth, throat, and abdomen.  If you feel hungry, give yourself permission to eat.  When you’re hungry, sit down with a healthy meal and do what I call, “mindful eating”.  This is where you sit with your food with no distractions.  You notice the colors of the food.  You appreciate the immense effort that nature took to provide you with edible plants. Allow yourself to enjoy the flavors, the textures.  Allow yourself to be relaxed with your plate, and congratulate yourself for eating healthy.  Think about the nutrients in the food and how they provide health and energy for your body.  As you chew each bite deliberately and enjoy every second of your plate, you will notice yourself feeling things like gratitude, love, appreciation, and joy in eating.  Something most people have forgotten how to feel about food.  You’ll realize that food is not the enemy.  It provides life and beauty to our lives.  Since emotional eaters are so used to feeling the opposite while binging on unhealthy foods, these new feelings of joy while mindful eating can also produce healthy chemicals in our brain that heal us rather than give us a “quick fix”.

Learning how to listen to our bodies is key for emotional eating.  When we eat because we are truly hungry, we stop when we are truly full.  We feel grateful for our food, and accept the energy and life that it provides.  Feeding emotional needs with food however, makes us feel that we are a bottomless well, never feeling full, never feeling satisfied.  And the motivation for eating never gets addressed.  For more information on health and wellness, please visit my website at –Crystal Doty

Emotional Eating Part 1

Emotional Eating Article 1 of 2. Emotional Eaters: Who Does it and Why?
Emotional eaters are not people you can pick out in a crowd.  They are not all overweight, nor are all overweight people emotional eaters.  Simply put, I define emotional eaters as anybody who uses food as substitute for their feelings.  Stress, anxiety, loneliness, boredom, and fatigue are common triggers, and many people turn to food to quell anger.  The emotion can be anything that is uncomfortable, anything you want to stuff down.  In my experience, I see that a lot of emotional eaters share a tendency toward perfectionism.  They also believe that their lovability depends on how they look and what their performance is.  For perfectionists, there’s often a big difference between the idea of how they think life should be- the flawless house, job, garden, marriage, dress size- and how they see their daily existence.  Dwelling on imperfections (that are usually made up in their minds as they compare themselves to unrealistic ideas) and devoting one’s primary energy to “measuring up” can lead to depression and anxiety, two of the main triggers for emotional eating.
So why do emotional eaters turn to food rather than healthier sources of comfort?  When I ask this of my clients, most of them say that it is cheaper and more socially acceptable than turning to drugs or alcohol.  However, emotional eating does have a drug-like effect.  Foods rich in sugar and fat are associated with the release of the body’s natural neurotransmitters that help us with pleasure and pain.  What I’d like people to understand is that emotional eating is an addiction just like a drug because of the chemical result that is caused in our bodies when eating certain foods. 
Replacing emotional eating with healthier habits is an individual process.  This is because both the emotional triggers and the “fixes” vary from person to person.  Besides reading one of my favorite books on this subject, Constant Craving by Doreen Virtue, I also recommend doing the following exercise.  Start by making a list of non- food- related activities that make you feel good.  Then identify your personal triggers- situations, emotions, sensations, and people who tend to set off emotional eating episodes.  Finally, pair each trigger with a positive activity.  Be as specific as you can, and give yourself time to make the transition.  To learn more ways in how to heal emotional eating, stay tuned for my next article and in the meantime feel free to visit my website.  –Crystal Doty