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  • You Aren’t Doing It Wrong if You are Doing It!

    I’m Doing It Wrong! I thought it might be interesting to explore the less obvious sides of being mindful. For: if you already may be meditating through everyday activities like taking a walk. Or: if meditation is a Q&A with God, what happens when that conversation doesn’t go the way you expected? And finally: unmasking the personal meditation fear many faces. Here are words from meditation advocate Jon Kabat-Zinn, creator of the now widely used mindfulness-based stress reduction program, from one of his best-known books: “Meditation Is Not What You Think.” Kabat-Zin writes: “When I am guiding a meditation with a group of people, I often find myself encouraging them to throw out the thought ‘I am meditating.’ Just be awake. No trying, no schedule. No idea even about what it should look or feel like. It indeed is a radical act of love to sit down and be quiet for a time. Sitting down in this way is a way to take a stand in your life as it is right now. However, it is.” Does this sound familiar to you? Do you find yourself worrying about what’s uncontrollable in life? You’ve heard that meditation might help and that it’s good for relieving stress. You feel in your soul that it will be good for YOU! So you decide to commit. You schedule a time to meditate regularly. You pick out a meditation app or a recording, or a book. The scheduled moment comes, and you go to a particular place – a class, maybe out in your garden, or into a specific corner you have set up in your home. You position yourself just right on the floor, or a chair, or the grass. You begin the breathing. You understand that this breathing is so important, that being in this moment so important, and guess what? It’s not working. Why is it not working? Oh dang, why can’t I concentrate? Why am I thinking about what to buy my brother for his birthday, or why does my back feel weird? Where is the insight? Am I sitting the wrong way, wearing the wrong pants? I KNEW I should have bought better meditation clothes; do I need a chime or incense. Why am I so BAD at this? Does this sound familiar to you? When you start a regular meditative practice of any sort, do you get stuck at I am doing this all wrong? Stuck at: I am a failed meditator and not worthy of self-care or personal growth, and I don’t have the spiritual right stuff. You are not alone. People often give up on meditation because they believe they are doing it wrong. I found a surprising number of psychologists, meditation experts, and scientists talking about this. Michael Taft, a meditation teacher, book author, and creator of the “Deconstruct Yourself” podcast, says he believes one of the biggest challenges beginning meditators face is the “I’m bad at this” hurdle. “I’m not sure of the reason for this,” Taft says. He suspects it might be a quirk of our culture. But regardless, he hears it a lot in his classes. Ed and Deb Shapiro, authors of the meditation book “Be The Change,” listed “I’m bad at this” among the top seven excuses people use to give up on meditation. “What IS it about something as simple as sitting still and watching our breath that evokes panic, fear, and even hostility?” the couple writes. Taft and the Shapiros agree that it is impossible to fail at meditation. There is no right or wrong technique, they say. “Even if you just sit for 20 minutes thinking non-stop meaningless thoughts, that’s fine,” the Shapiros say. Which is something, by the way, you wouldn’t know about playing Fort Night or writing out a grocery list, neither of which terrifies us. Taft has found the most common meditating mistake as a teacher: practitioners spend so much energy criticizing themselves, and they make a mess out of it. Or they set impossible expectations, try too hard and undo meditation’s benefits creating a self-defeating stress tornado. Does this sound familiar to you? It sure does to me. Most of my clients are meditation dropouts, and I secretly have been somewhat ashamed, especially when I know so many people who DO meditate and love it. But I never could figure out exactly why I was struggling – until writing this piece revealed the reason. I am convinced that I was doing it wrong. And I realized that is a larger stumbling block for me and maybe for some of you as well. We start many new practices well-intentioned, but we don’t move forward. We expect quick results, a rush of reward, and when it doesn’t happen, we think it’s because we are bad at whatever we are attempting when we are just new to it. Maybe we should try being good to ourselves. Be realistic about our expectations. Honor our willingness to try. Even if something doesn’t feel good, sometimes the very fact that you are doing it means you are doing it right, Michael Taft, the mediation teacher, tells his students. Sometimes, things are uncomfortable. Sometimes, they require new thinking. That’s fine. The important thing is to keep going. This article was written by Diane Lade and is an excerpt from Sheryl's upcoming book, "Turning Adversity into Purpose."

  • When I Grow Up I Want to Be....

    When I was a teenager in high school I decided I wanted to be a songwriter when I grew up. It didn't hurt that nearly all of my "boyfriends" during that phase of my life were musicians, singers, guitar players or drummers. So I kept a notebook with all of my budding song ideas. And one notebook turned into two, then three and then six or seven by the time high school was said and done. The problem was that all of my "songs", I use the term loosely as they were more like badly rhyming poems without music, were so depressing that anyone trying to put them to music would probably end up committing suicide. Why in the world anyone would want to put that depressing dribble to music is beyond me now, but at the time I thought I was on to something. It is true of many songs and songwriters that they write their best songs when the going gets tough, the songwriters start writing. But I couldn't write a "don't worry, be happy" song to save my life. The problem was, when life was good who wanted to stop living long enough to commit it to a song - it was more fun to be in the moment. But when life sucked, writing a song about it was like therapy, it somehow helped you be in that moment and extract something worthwhile from it, with the word "worthwhile" being in the ears of the beholder. I remember that I loved the songwriters more than the singers or the musicians. I loved Carol King more than James Taylor for You've Got a Friend, Leonard Cohen more than KD Lang for Hallelujah - heck I loved everything Leonard Cohen wrote and he couldn't sing for his life. Same with Bob Dylan, it was the words not the sound quality that always touched me. And I fell in love with these songwriters, those willing to bear their souls to the world and have it put to music for everyone to hear and know. So you might have guessed, I didn't grow up to be a songwriter but I thought it might be fun to dig out one of those old songs and dust it off, do what I always wanted to do, share it with the world. So here goes: Nothing More Than You Silently and softly I steal across your mind. I do not wish To devour time But only to touch it. At this moment I think There is nothing More to life Than you. There are other things That keep screaming In my mind. But I don't need to listen Our whispered thoughts Are enough. At this moment I think There is nothing More to life Than you. Don't die in front of My reality. I'm tired of reaching out To touch And seeing things disappear. At this moment I think There is nothing More to life Than you. Keep me In your thoughts At least. Each year, less But keep me somewhere. At this moment I think There is nothing More to life Than you. Now if there's anyone out there that feels compelled to put these words to music, just contact my agent and I'm sure we can arrange something. That is as soon as I get an agent :-) Hallelujah. This post is dedicated to Cheryl P, the one that spells her name wrong. The same one that shot the photo below.

  • It Only Appears Bad Due to Lack of Perspective

    The illusion that something is good or bad is usually only a matter of perspective. There is a great parable that illustrates this point. It is about a man whose son captures a beautiful, wild horse. His family and friends say to him, how wonderful, what a great skill your son has, how lucky he is and the father only responds, we will see. When the son is thrown from the horse and breaks his leg, his family and friends all say how terrible it is and what a curse the horse is and the father responds, we will see. So when the military comes into town to gather up all of the able-bodied boys to march off to war, his friends and family say how wonderful it is that your son's leg was broken and that he was spared military service and his father responds...you guessed it, we will see. So the moral of the story is that no matter how good or bad something may appear at the time, it is only perspective that allows us to see a broader meaning or reason for that thing to occur in our life. The thing itself is neither bad or good, only our perception changes bad to good or good to bad. Said another way, we would all be much happier and healthier if we could remember this at times when things appear to be going badly, or even in times when they appear to be going well so we don't get stuck in our mistaken perception. Although I don't want to give up my joyful times, I certainly could do with some perspective in my less than joyful or sorrowful times. I experienced this lesson when I was quite young faced with a daunting decision at the age of 15. I found myself pregnant, in a relationship with a heroin addict and living in government subsidized housing. My mother insisted that I go to a convent to have my baby and then give it up for adoption. I knew this would be the end of my education and that I would soon follow in her footsteps and never make it to college even though it was always my dream. I ran away and was picked up by the police after a few days of living on the streets. I spent several hours speaking with the Catholic Priest who was on call at police headquarters until my mother arrived to pick me up. The Father convinced my mother that she should honor my request to terminate the pregnancy and after she recovered from being told by a man of the cloth to allow an abortion, she agreed. So off I went to New York (this was just before Roe versus Wade legalized it nationwide) alone, afraid and feeling like my life was over in so many ways. I managed to recover and found new meaning in my life once I was relocated to my grandparents' care. Only a short year later, I was instrumental in starting a community crisis hot line and high school peer counseling center where I personally helped hundreds of girls just like myself through the tough choices of teenage pregnancy. I was able to share the terrible truth of a decision to have an abortion and I know that I had a tremendous impact on those that sought my advice. I also know that I was a role model for girls who thought that suicide was their only choice as their life looked to be too terrible to bear. I assured them that it was only a matter of perspective and that eventually they too would see how this event could positively impact their life or the lives of those they touched. What a wonderful gift this experience was in that it shaped me to be able to return the gift to those in need. And this event continued to impact my life as I entered college. My training and experience as a peer counselor prepared me for my application to become a resident assistant in the college dorm at Michigan State University. I was uniquely qualified for this position and securing it was a tremendous help as I paid my own way through college. Being a resident assistant covered the costs of room and board and was yet another sign that what happened to me wasn't a curse after all. These events help me to remember in the midst of something that appears to be terrible, it only seems so because I don't yet have the perspective that will help me see it differently. I try to imagine that I am standing in front of a tree so close that I can't even see that it is a tree yet. And then I imagine slowly backing away from the tree, allowing distance and light to enter my field of vision, allowing me to finally see the situation clearly. This helps me have the patience to gain the perspective for whatever seems terrible to take on its true meaning in my life. Even if it might take months or years to get there, I trust that it will come. And this trust makes it easier to bear in the present moment and helps me embrace those terrible moments. Photo by Eddie Kopp on Unsplash

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  • Allmaya | Home

    Discover Your True Purpose Life Coaching for Authentic Living Book a Free Consultation Turning Adversity into Purpose This is the self-help book you need if you're facing adversity or a crisis that leaves you feeling hopeless, unworthy of a better life, or simply stuck in a hole. Find Out More Meet Sheryl Take Control of Your Future My vision is to lead a fully authentic life full of joy and one that helps others along the path to their authentic self, making the world a better place, one connection at a time. Allmaya was inspired by the Sanscrit word "maya," directly translated as illusion. The illusion is our mistaken tendency to regard appearance as reality, when in fact, it is nothing more than reality filtered through our perceptions and judgments. By adding the word "all," this phrase reminds me that no matter what is going on around me, it is all an illusion, and I can decide how I want to perceive it - as good, bad or indifferent. And much more powerful than the illusion is our ability to take charge of our world view, giving us tremendous creative power, just like the goddess Maya who personifies the power to create our reality. Let's do that together, create a reality in your own image. Feel free to contact me with any questions and learn how to make this happen in your life. Let's Talk What I Specialize In Life Coaching (4 session packages) Business & Career Coaching LinkedIn 1:1 Coaching Sessions LinkedIn Speaker & Webinars Cognitive Behavioral Coaching (mental health coaching) Learn More The Journey Towards Health Begins on the Path of Self Love. Begin Your Journey Today. Book A Free Consultation Sheryl is much more than a Life Coach. I see her as a Spiritual Guide. She inspires me to better define my goals in terms of my career and my relationships. She uses creative visualization to help me with manifesting my dreams and highest aspirations. Ultimately, working with Sheryl is helping me to become my higher self and lead a life filled with abundance and clarity of purpose. Linda Lathroum, Ph.D. I had the privilege of Sheryl being my coach and loved the way she facilitated, challenged and ‘squeezed’ me to get that extra insight out of our 1:1 sessions. As an Exec Coach myself I recognise value and Sheryl is one that ticks all the boxes. It always felt more a case of co-creation or collaboration as opposed to one way or top down working and that is the best compliment I can pay her. Farooq Muhammad, CEO Sheryl is a force of to be reckoned with. I adore working with her because she helps me dream bigger and holds that vision with me. Thanks to Sheryl's straight talk about my own worth and value, I was able to successfully negotiate a higher salary than I would have otherwise. What's more, Sheryl gets things done! No sitting on the sidelines waiting for life to happen. Cassidy Meeks, Youth & Family Ministry Director See More Testimonials Let’s Talk Schedule a Session Let's chat about where you are on your journey and where you would like to go. Let's Talk

  • Book | Turning Adversity Into Purpose

    Turning Adversity into Purpose Get Notified When Published This is the self-help book you need if you're facing adversity or a crisis that leaves you feeling hopeless, unworthy of a better life, or simply stuck in a hole. Overview Turning Adversity into Purpose, gives us a blueprint we can use in every interaction and at every challenge to replace fear, anger, or hatred with hope and joy. Her four-step method of approaching challenges walks us through a never-fail way to actually put the crises and challenges that come into our lives to good use. In essence, the book helps us heal as we learn how to convert the negative energy into tools that help us achieve our best life. Praise for the Book Sheryl has written a wonderful and very timely step-by-step guide on how to turn adversity into an opportunity for growth, healing, and finding purpose. This book is a must-read for anyone facing challenges. Dr. Chris Michaels, author and Nautilus Silver Medal Winner (an organization that recognizes world-changing books) ​ Reverend Amy Carol Webb, minister, singer/songwriter, author This is the self-help book you need if you're facing adversity or a crisis that leaves you feeling hopeless, unworthy of a better life, or simply stuck in a hole. The author is intensely relatable; you'll find yourself nodding in agreement as she describes what led her to the point of realizing she needed a solution to her fears. Sharon Wilson, Publisher, The Trades Publishing Company I have watched Sheryl transform from someone who needed external validation into a whole, self-assured professional on a mission to transform people’s lives and to leverage three decades of marketing know-how to have a more profound impact on the world. This book is about her transformation. She blends deep technical knowledge with a profound spirituality to become a mindful marketer, life-transforming coach, and gifted teacher. Dan Grech, owner and cofounder, BizHack Academy ​ Dear reader: Say “yes” to this book. Shake off your fears and that “I’ve already been here” weariness. This isn’t another maintenance manual. Sheryl has created, specifically for you, a roadmap to the life you've longed for. Her compelling deep truth, hard-earned wisdom and practical guidance will make you feel like she is with you every step of the way. Diane Lade, a former investigative journalist for the Sun-Sentinel and faith development leader for Unitarian Universalist Congregation Get Notified When Published

  • About Sheryl Cattell | Allmaya, LLC

    The Story of Me After 30+ years of working in corporate America, my path has finally led me to a creative outlet that leverages what comes naturally to me and that brings me great joy. Mentoring and motivating my staff, teammates and friends, I realized that those interactions were some of the most personally satisfying experiences of my life. So I started my "journey of a thousand miles" by becoming a Master Certified Life Coach. My focus is to help others identify and achieve their personal aspirations. ​ Maya is a Sanskrit word that represents the veil of illusion that we perceive the world through. It is a filter consisting of our perceptions, judgments and past experiences which cloud this reality and changes it. It becomes our own filter which affects how we perceive the world, changing it along the way from reality to illusion. Allmaya helps clients reveal the hidden filters that stand in the way of growth. Allmaya is about guiding you in the journey to peel the veil of illusion from your eyes so that you can choose the self you want to be. ​ My Credentials Level 2 Master Certified Life Coach from Certified Life Coach Institute 2020 Hatha Yoga & Pranayama Certified Instructor, Integral Yoga International Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Certificate from the University of Massachusetts Medical School Graduate of the Yale University Science of Well Being course Founder of two non-profit Interactive Marketing Associations - Dallas dfwima.org and South Florida sfima.com Adjunct Marketing Instructor for University of San Francisco, UVA McIntire School of Business, Central Michigan University, and Florida Atlantic University School of Business Executive marketing experience as CMO, VP or Senior Director level positions at Bank of America, Mary Kay, Travelocity.com, Bluegreen Vacations, eDiets.com, Time4Learning International business experience from four years living in Brussels Belgium and working for Dow Corning Corporation BA from Michigan State University in Public Administration MBA from Central Michigan University Vision My vision is to lead a fully authentic life, full of joy, that helps others along their path to their authentic self, making the world a better place, one connection at a time.

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