11008475_10155515032160055_8955398792009653941_n

REACH with your arm…your heart…your intention…your voice.
REACH for a dream…a goal…a desire.
REACH to serve…to touch…to expand…to ignite.
REACH in spirit…in service…in gratitude.
REACH out for length…for depth…for more.
REACH for your life.

Reach is a measurement of arm span for boxers and MMA fighters. A longer reach becomes an advantage in a fight…and in your life. Out of the ring, it matters less whether your “wing” span is long, it matters more that you believe your arms are wings. With wings, you feel worthiness to reach. To keep reaching. And then, to reach for some more…

Reach relates to your sense of self-worth because you won’t reach when you feel undeserving of ease, abundance, honesty, happiness, healing…(fill in your blank here). And, how you reach is just as important as whether you reach. Both come back to your underlying commitments.

We have to unconceal all the beliefs that keep us from attaining our dreams. I call these underlying commitments because they are agreements we have made with ourselves to not reach our true goals. Whether you decide to go after your dreams or not, it’s important to question what’s driving you, as well as what gets in the way of your heart’s desires.” ~Deborah Ford

Where is the conflict? Which underlying commitments are sabotaging your reach? How are your beliefs about your talent, intelligence, genetics, luck, or past experience factoring into your considerations of how or whether to reach. Reach for that thing you want. What if it was right at the end of your fingertips? How would that change your approach today…this week…this life?

Step out of your comfort zone and be that person that sometime hides inside.  Who knows what will emerge…when you REACH for what you deserve. ~Stacey Lei Krauss

imageThis week, there will be a lot of willPower Method (instructors) heading to Denver. Our backgrounds are diverse, but our aim is singular. We gather to REACH. Reaching has a certain boldness about it. Especially when like-minded individuals assemble. In the reach, you attract conspiring components. The intention with which you reach directly corresponds to what you retrieve, though, so please consider my 10 Guiding Principles while in REACH mode:

1. Reach for a better feeling thought. Thoughts create momentum and tend to spiral (downward) quickly. From a place of awareness, task yourself to reach for a thought that feels a little better…a little lighter. Build from there with authenticity, not denial. For example, it’s too great a reach to go from, “This sucks” to “This is awesome”, but maybe you can soften it a bit. Find one blessing or ounce of gratitude in the situation. Realize the only thing we have control over are our thoughts. In other words, self-soothing is always an option.

When I hear the word, reach, the first thing I think is this: ‘reach for a better feeling thought.’ If you lived inside my head, you would hear this all the time…especially lately. My jet lag has reared its ugly head…and it’s rough waking up between 12-2am unable to fall back asleep. So, I have to deliberately soften my annoyance with thoughts like, “I know it’s only temporary”, “I am so grateful to have gone to Tokyo” or “Fortunately, I have another room (and a refrigerator…) at my disposal.”

2. Reach with linguistic cognizance. Be aware of what you say. Omit the word, “just”, and any words describing shortage or an undesired state in your reach statements.

For example, saying, “I just want a job that pays the bills”, will ensure you JUST get that…with a bit of struggle and a bunch of drudgery…but certainly nothing more. “I’m becoming so accident-prone…and fat in my old age,” reaps, “More accidents and sticky pounds, please.”

3. Reach with flexible strength. Flexibility in mind and body. A flexible mindset is not a doormat; it is open to new ideas and accepting of differing viewpoints. A flexible body is our armor against injury. Both are the alleviating agents of tension.

Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.” ~Chinese Proverb

Psst, willPower instructors, how are your splits coming along?

4. Reach with worthy goals. Your goals. No one else’s. Not what society, friends, or family suggest. What you want while understanding that any outward changes are preceded with an internal transformation. Transformed thinking leads to transformed being.

In meditation, I ask myself this question, What do you want?, every time. It is one of the soul-level questions designed to bring us back to our true essence with enlightened ideas and inspiration. Try it. You might be surprised by your answers.

5. Reach in a different direction with one small change. This one small change must be a challenge to strengthen your “reach” muscle and to empower you from a “fix” mentality to a forward “evolving” motion. Eliminate one destructive or nonessential thing you find yourself reaching for…

My latest is sweetener. In the weeks leading up to my trip to Tokyo, I had been feeling an aversion to the acidity and artificial junk of sweetener, but it was a well ingrained habit to put a packet into my morning coffee. In Japan, artificial sweetener isn’t as common, so I started taking my coffee completely black. I’ve maintained the habit since I returned…except at Starbucks. I allow myself sweetener at Starbucks. Frankly, I feel it’s necessary! Key word. Small. Small change!

Pick something that feels at least a little bit edgy…where are you on autopilot in a way that does not serve you?”~Nancy Levin

6. Reach for quality. Stop filling your places or spaces with junk. Reach for quality when picking out your next book, meal, company. Call 1-800-Got-Junk, clean out your fridge or perhaps your social calendar.

I normally prefer to read nonfiction, but one of my favorite authors, Marianne Williamson, urged us (aspiring authors) to reach for the classics. The Paris Wife was the one she mentioned I grabbed…and now highly recommend.

7. Reach with sacrifice…selectively. Sacrifice involves putting another or something else first. Sacrifice can be noble when directed toward a dream, desire, calling or cause that makes your heart sing. But when sacrifice entails giving up these things to make someone else happy, less threatened, or temporarily satisfied, there is no nobility, there is pleasing. In pleasing others, we lose. Loss of self. Loss of time and energy.

If I spend my life pleasing people, I spend my life.” ~Cheryl Richardson

8. Reach for enhanced expression…a bigger calorie burn…an opening of the chakras…a release of feel-good endorphins.

My least favorite question as a fitness instructor is, How many calories will this class burn? The answer always lies in your reach. The reach of your leg in hip-hinge, the reach for weights as you load up your squat bar, the reach of your arm as you side-plank…the reach for muscle-preserving protein in your meals. It is not a question I can answer for you, but my observation is that the people asking this question tend to exhibit below-average reach. See #4 above.

9. Reach, don’t preach. We can waste a lot of energy, time, and resources explaining, defending, convincing, or otherwise justifying our positions. Question the necessity of these conversations and how they are impacting your energy reserves to reach with pure intention. An impure intention is one involving anger or animosity. “I’ll show them!” is less potent than working toward a vision with positive inspiration and personal integrity. When energy is dispersed into fueling negativity, you become distracted and exposed to so-called energy vampires.

10. Reach with assistance. When you can’t reach for something by yourself, please ask for help. Going it alone doesn’t make you more lovable. Being who you are does. xo

Do you want to explore REACH further? Click here for quotes, mantras and our willPower dedicated weekly exercise.

Sarah Ingmanson

Sarah Ingmanson

Sarah is a studio owner, fitness instructor and competitor. She is a former investment banker and equity research analyst with her MBA from the Wharton School and her MA in International Affairs from the Lauder Institute of the University of Pennsylvania. Sarah is fluent in Japanese and consults with Japanese companies on corporate governance, finance, and investor relations. Sarah's interest in Japan stemmed from her first tour with Disney On Ice as a professional figure skater. For more info on Sarah and her studio, visit www.starslocker.com.