I’ve learned that the best way to create connection is to be transparent and vulnerable. I didn’t always think that. Vulnerability used to scare the living shit out of me. Share my soft underbelly with others, are you kidding?!
Traversing down memory lane I think back to my first blog in 2005. Transparency was nowhere to be found. And vulnerability was hiding under the covers. What took their place in the blogosphere was fluff. Polly-Anna positive, sugarcoated fluff.
I don’t like fluff, so what made me think others would?!
I want to know what lies at the heart of someone, the fires they have walked through that make up who they are. I don’t connect with perfect. I connect with the real!
So in honor of keeping it real I thought it would be fun to answer some questions. (Thank you SocialTalent for some of these.) And I’d like to invite you to be transparent and vulnerable with me. The more the merrier.
What would your autobiography be called?
The Musings Of A “Woo-Woo”
I Don’t Need To Be Fixed Because I’m Not Broken
How would you describe to a child what you do for a living?
You know when your favorite toy goes missing and you feel really sad? That’s what happens to adults when we lose what’s important to us. I help those adults find the things that are most important to them so they no longer feel sad.
What is a pet peeve of yours?
When people don’t say “Thank you!” and not just to me, but to others. It drives me frickin’ nuts! It’s my version of nails down a chalkboard. Uh-oh…I feel a vent coming on…
It truly pisses me off when people don’t extend the common courtesy of a “thank you”. It doesn’t take much energy and it’s a nice way to show a little gratitude. I think expressing gratitude is a cool thing. It feels good to share it and to receive it. At the end of the day, the person that did that nice thing didn’t have to... they made a choice to do so, so why not acknowledge it with a “thank you”?!
What’s one of your most embarrassing moments?
It’s a toss up between my hot chocolate experience my freshman year of college and my little clothing malfunction during a visit to the UK. Since I can’t decide, I’ll share both.
I was having dinner with some new friends in the cafeteria across from my dorm. We were chatting away, getting to know one another, and at the very moment I took a sip of my hot chocolate one of the guys at our table said something really funny. No chance for me to swallow that hot chocolate before it came spewing out of my mouth, covering the table.
No sooner did I get it cleaned up when the same guy said something funny at the same time I was taking another sip. Once again, a spray of hot chocolate went from my mouth across the table.
As if it wasn’t bad enough that it happened once, and then twice, but it happened three times! Talk about first impressions!
Now for my second embarrassing moment…
During a trip to the UK, as we were coming out of a pub in South Wimbledon I noticed people staring. Did I have something on my face? Was there spinach between my teeth?
Oh, if only!! What they were staring at was the back of my skirt that had managed to get stuck in the back of my sweater…exposing my tights and underwear to all the patrons of the pub and the passers-by.
I think that gives new meaning to the term “brash American”.
If you could have dinner with a famous person, who would it be and why?
I would love to have dinner with Maya Angelou. I would love to sit and pick her brain and absorb her wisdom about life, self-respect, change, love…all the big topics. She was such an inspiration and she remains an inspiration through her writing.
I use one of her quotes as wallpaper on my computer so I see it every day…
“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.”
What’s your favorite quote?
I’m a self-professed quote junkie. While some people collect baseball cards, shot glasses or spoons from other countries, I collect quotes. So I have to say that this is probably one of the hardest questions for me to answer. I have many favorites. If I have to pick just one, my current favorite is this one by Timothy Leary…
If you were the CEO of a company name one thing you would make compulsory in the office and one thing you would ban in the office.
I think I would make “naptime” compulsory. Self-care is best friends with productivity because you can’t give from an empty tank. And I would ban negative, critical comments. I think people learn best from constructive, caring comments and not negative, critical ones.
You were just told you that you had 24 hours to eat whatever you wanted without any negative repercussions, what would you eat?
Pizza and buffalo chicken wings. I love a good pie with a side of wings. The “old” me would have said and a cold, frosty mug of beer, but since I don’t drink much any more, that doesn’t sound very appealing. BUT bring on the pizza and the wings and I’m one happy woman!
What is your favorite song and why?
I love music. It’s like crayons for my soul…providing color! Lots and lots of color….so it’s not uncommon for me to take a song and relate it to something that is happening in my life. My current favorite song, which is on repeat, is Rise By Katy Perry.
This is an empowering song and for me it holds a powerful message of not listening to the naysayers in the world, including the ones that are in our heads. The reason I love it so much, it serves as my reminder that I’m not here just to survive. I’m here to rise and to thrive! We all are!
Feel free to check out last week’s post, as I share just a bit more.
What would your pet say about you if they were asked for a character reference?
They would probably say something like…
“Our momma is a big old softy with a big heart! There’s no doubt about it. Not only does she love us unconditionally, hug us often, but she can’t resist our little head tilts and wagging tails when it comes to extra treats while she’s cooking. Oh, and she cries at sappy commercials. If it pulls at her heartstrings the waterworks will follow. “
Now over to you. Let’s get vulnerable and transparent together. I promise the water is fine. Who’s going to be first?
Until next week, I send you all much love and light from my open heart to yours…
A personal note to my own naysayers
“Is it noisy out there, and for some reason, people want to see you fail, but that’s not your problem. That is their problem.”
That quote is from a video that I recently watched. As I was watching it a feeling of, “You can’t hold me back. I’ll show you” determination hit me like a wave. Followed by two questions…
If the naysayers want us to fail and it’s their problem that they do, why do we listen? What causes us to give what they say an ounce of credibility?
MY OWN NAYSAYERS
I’ve had my share of naysayers, particularly the naysayers that reside in my head, which are probably the loudest of all.
I give them credibility when I don’t have faith in my own abilities.
I believe all that they say when I lack trust in myself.
I listen to their negativity and buy into it hook line and sinker when I’m afraid.
I conform to their critiques of me in order to fit in when I feel alone.
And while their naysaying may be their problem I make it mine any time I take it in and take it to heart. I make it my problem any time I allow it to hold me back or twist and contort me into someone I’m not.
I’ve listened until I can’t listen any more. I’m tired of listening and allowing their naysaying to become my problem so I’ve decided to share this little message with all my naysayers...
To anyone who has ever doubted me, thought I wasn’t capable, or criticized me for any reason... I want to say “Thank you!” Yes, you read that right; I want to thank you for your naysaying. It’s serving as my guidance system, letting me know that what I’ve done and what I’m doing is the right thing for me.
You can continue to nay all you want. That’s your problem, not mine. Just please note that I will no longer take your naying into consideration. It will no longer hold power or credibility. As Brene’ Brown best said, “If you’re not in the arena also getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.”
I will continue to do what I feel is best and for the greater good. I will continue to live from a place of love, joy, light and compassion. And if you don’t like it, then I say this with all the love in my heart, please do yourself (and me) a favor, find somewhere else to “nay”…. because I’m done listening.
But before I sign off here’s something, my dear naysayers that you can listen to…it's my new anthem and declaration.
I will continue to rise so just watch me! Love, Pam
If you have a message for your naysayers please take this time and this space to share it. You deserve to be heard, especially by your naysayers.
At the end of the day, the best way to counteract the naysayers is to find what brings us joy and to live from that joy as often as possible. Care to join me?
Until next time, my friends…I’m sending you much love and light from my open-heart to yours…
Ways to tell and some things to try when you are
Taken for granted
Have you ever felt or experienced any of these?
If you answered “yes” then there’s a good chance you’ve experienced an energy leak. To explain…
An energy leak is when we’re expending energy in ways that cause an energetic deficit. For example, an energetic deficit is created by…
…saying “yes” when we really want and need to say “no”.
…doing things because we’re afraid that someone won’t like us or love us if we don’t.
…allowing someone to belittle or berate us.
…hanging out with energy vampires.
…reliving a past hurt.
…holding on to anger.
(I can raise my hand to all of these. How about you?) And when we are energetically deficit we are more susceptible to all the feelings mentioned at the start of this post.
I just recently heard Caroline Myss say something that blew my energetic mind and put how we expend energy into perspective. I’m paraphrasing here but she asked us to imagine being given only $100 worth of energy each day. That’s it. No more. No less.
As she said that I felt my throat tighten and my first thought was,
“Holy shit! $100 worth of energy isn’t a lot for a 24-hour period. I better be careful how I spend it.”
Depending on how we spend our $100 of energy it’s possible to expend it in ways that create an energetic deficit. When we become energetically deficient we then have to borrow that energy from somewhere…maybe from our own cells (making us tired and susceptible to fear, self-doubt, etc.) or from someone else (making us needy or dependent).
As if that wasn’t mind-blowing enough she then encouraged all those listening to become energy bankers. Not in the lending of our energy, but rather in the ways we invest our energy. Investing it in ways that yield a high, positive rate of return.
YES! That makes perfect sense! Investing energy in ways that fuels our energy (or makes us feel good) and doesn’t deplete it.
Her wise wisdom has been echoing in my head for well over a week now. As a result, I’ve become more aware of what (and where) I’ve been investing my energy, making a point to invest it wisely.
There’ve been times this past week when I haven’t invested it as wisely as I could have, but I will say I’ve been consciously aware of those times. Here’s the kicker…in being consciously aware of when I’m not investing wisely (due to consciously choosing my actions and behaviors), I’ve actually leaked less energy than if I participated in the same activities in a mindless fashion.
Pretty cool stuff!
WAYS TO STOP LEAKING
Energy leaks are bound to happen, but we don’t have let them leak to a point of complete and total deficit. Here are some things that will help stop the leaks and recharge our energy reserves.
Regular “feeler” check-ins. Feelings are awesome (not to mention extremely valid) because they serve as guidance. They clue us in to what’s going on in our world and what we need to pay attention to. They’re also great indicators of when we have an energy leak. If we make it a point to check-in we become more aware of our own energy expenditure.
Soak them. When we’re feeling heavy, stuck or depleted it helps to take an Epsom salt bath. Epsom salt baths are a great way to element negative energy and toxicity from our bodies.
Ask yourself, “Do I want to expend my energy here?” Asking ourselves this question or a similar question places us in conscious choice. Choosing = Personal Power and Personal Power = Energy
Be choosy about the activities we engage in and the people we spend time with. When we choose to hang out with people that match our energy and participate in activities that fuel our energy we avoid leakage.
Protect our energy during times when we have to be around people who drain it. A really good way to do that is to cross our arms below our chest and in front of our solar plexus. I learned this little jewel many years ago from Sonia Choquette. Our solar plexus is our power center and so protecting it protects our energy.
Save the drama for our mamas. When we avoid gossip, complaining, or any form of martyrdom (ours or someone else’s) we stop the leaks from happening.
Be aware of what we read or watch. Yep, you guessed it; negative news is a real energy leak!
Here’s to being wise energy investors! Until next time, I’m sending you all much love, light, and positive energy from my open heart to yours…
How holistically wealthy are you?
Imagine having someone describe you based on the material things you have, like the car you drive, or the house you live in. How would that feel?
Would it suck? Or would that be totally amazing?
Please understand, I’m not judging. There’s nothing wrong with having or wanting a healthy bank account, nice cars, and a nice house. There isn’t.
But here’s what I’m wondering, is that how you want to be described by someone? More importantly are the monetary things making you feel relaxed, happy, loved, and crazy fulfilled?
I used to think that if I had all the nice things that money could buy I’d be as happy as a pig in shit. No more worries. Just an easy breezy life.
I also used to think that in order for others to see me as a person of worth I had to have the big account, the nice cars, big house, expensive clothes, and extravagant trips.
Actually I grew up with that story. My parents, bless them, were always trying to “prove” their worth by keeping up with the Joneses, the Smiths, and anyone else that had financial means.
And you know what? They were miserable. We were all miserable.
I remember my nana once saying that we lived in a beautiful home but the walls were crying. There was a great deal of pain, emptiness, and loneliness in my childhood house. To add to that pain and loneliness was the pressure to keep up appearances.
I’m not going to lie...what I saw in my parents and the emptiness I experienced didn’t stop me from chasing the all mighty dollar like a dog in heat.
And guess what all that chasing got me?
It got me more emptiness, coupled with stress, and lots of debt… mountains of debt, and not just the monetary kind. I became energetically bankrupt because I was living from a place of lack and struggle. I was living from something outside myself, something that was surface level and I was allowing that surface level to define my worth.
‘LACK’ IS THE REAL NASTY FOUR LETTER WORD
When we come from a place of lack we leave the door wide open for desperation to set in. The energy we emit is desperate and that desperate energy serves as a HUGE repellant. HUGE.
Think about it. When was the last time you were attracted to someone who was desperate?
LACK + DESPERATION = MORE LACK
So we keep chasing. Trying to gain that one thing that will make us feel better, less desperate, more worthy, that one thing that will ease the stress.
The more I lacked, the more desperate I became. The more desperate I became the more I lacked and the harder I chased.
In the end, I became disconnected to the things that held true value. Most importantly, I moved farther away from being able to recognize and define my true worth.
I’m not going to lie and tell you that I don’t want nice things. I do. I’m also not going to lie and tell you that I don’t ever have feelings of lack. I do. But here’s something I’ve learned…
Our worth is not in the things that we own. If we are placing a price tag on our own value, we will never feel worthy and we will always be chasing.
So now when I feel that lack creep in…when I feel my own worth start to diminish, I focus on the blessings I have. And every single time I do that my energy shifts from lack to something better. Sometimes it’s the energy of gratitude, sometimes it’s joy, and sometimes it’s just a nice warm fuzzy in the feelers.
Regardless, my energy shifts and as a result positive things start to happen… I become more grounded and sure of my own worth, I gain an influx of creative ideas, my confidence increases, more cool opportunities appear on the scene, a new client engages, or extra income comes in.
As a result I’ve come to understand the importance of taking a holistic approach to recognizing my own wealth factor or what I call my holistic wealth. It’s that holistic wealth that helps us to avoid debt of any kind and to increase our own worth.
WHAT EXACTLY IS HOLISTIC WEALTH?
Holistic wealth is the sum of all the things that make up our personal worlds. It encompasses who we are and what we do. It’s when we are living from a place of meaning and not surface level means (i.e. the material things). BUT it’s also that holistic wealth that helps us to create the financial wealth, and being able to do so NOT from a place of lack or chasing.
For example, what makes me holistically wealthy are some of the following:
The love I share with my amazing partner.
Knowing and sharing my WHY every day.
A deep connection to my spiritual team.
My faith and trust in something much bigger than me.
These are things that I want to be remembered for as contributing to my worth. And you’ll notice none of them are things I can buy at my local Whole Foods or Neiman Marcus.
YOUR HOLISTIC WEALTH
I know I started out this post by having you imagine how it would feel to be remembered for your monetary means. Now I’m going to ask you take stock. What makes you holistically wealthy?
Take a moment right now to take a little inventory, listing at least 3 things that you’re proud of or grateful for (beyond the physical things that surround you)…the things that you’d be happy to be remembered for.
Those are the things that add to your worth!
Now check in. How does it feel to think about all the things that make you holistically wealthy?
And the next time you find yourself worrying about how you’re going to pay a bill, feeling crappy about yourself, or in any place of lack, think about your holistic wealth.
Because here’s the deal, when we focus on being holistically wealthy, that’s when we are truly living a life of meaning and worth… not just means.
As always, please know that I’m here and I’m listening. Until next time I’m sending you so much love and light from my open heart to yours…
How to avoid being defined by others’ opinions & thoughts
Has anyone ever said to you, “It’s none of your business what other people think of you”?
If not, consider yourself blessed.
It sounds great in theory, not to give two shits about what other people think, but here’s the truth...we do care and we do make it our business.
If we didn’t we’d be lone wolves and be cool being a pack of one.
If we didn’t we wouldn’t fear rejection. We wouldn’t worry others might think that what we do is odd or bizarre.
There wouldn’t be people pleasers or perfectionists.
I used to be the person who’d say to a client or someone I cared about, “Hey, it’s really none of your business what other people think of you.” It was never my intention to be insensitive (not to mention a hypocrite) by discounting another person’s need for connection. Really. What I was trying to say was this…
There will always be people who have an opinion. You have no control over that opinion so don’t let it define who you are. Just know it’s OK to care, as long as it’s not stopping you from being you.
"When we stop caring what people thing we lose our capacity for connection. When we become defined by what people think we lose our capacity to be vulnerable." - Brené Brown
The bottom line: WE CARE and it’s cool that we do when it connects us. What’s not cool is allowing that care to control what we do and who we are as people.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CONNECTION AND DEFINITION
How do we tell the difference so we know when we are caring and connecting vs. caring and being defined?
I like to think of connecting as having that comfortable feeling of “Wow, they get me. How frickin’ cool!” That, to me, is the connection that is created by sharing and caring. Having a deep common bond, one that just feels like a fit.
That’s completely different from caring so much that we’re being held hostage by someone’s opinion or thoughts (or the anticipation of what others might think). That’s when we get into the dangerous territory of allowing it to define us and what we do.
“Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.”
Here’s what I mean…
I make no bones about being an intuitive. I’m very proud of this skill. That wasn’t always the case, however.
I remember when I rediscovered my intuitive abilities and I shared my discovery with my coach. Her response was one of excitement, as she tried to coax me into sharing my skill with the world.
My response to her, however, was this…
Heels firmly dug in with shock and horror added for good measure. “No! I couldn’t possibly share what I’m able to do. People will think I’ve grown a horn out my forehead. I’ll lose the clients I have and I won’t gain any new ones.”
Do you know I actually believed that story for about three years? I spent three years keeping my skill a secret when I could have been using it for the greater good.
When I finally mustered up enough guts to share my intuitive skills with the world, people were AMAZINGLY supportive! I didn’t lose any clients; instead I gained clients because of my intuitive abilities.
ROUND HOLE ANYONE?
If we become a square peg trying to squish ourselves into a round hole, that’s another tell tale sign that we’re defining rather than connecting. In other words, we’re conforming or morphing into something we’re not because of another’s thoughts and opinions.
“You have no responsibility to live up to what other people think you ought to accomplish. I have no responsibility to be like they expect me to be. It’s their mistake, not my failing.” ― Richard P. Feynman
I remember a time when I wore a certain style of clothing because all the “popular” girls did. In hindsight, those clothes weren’t me and neither was that group of girls. In hindsight, I looked like a real dork for a few years…no biggie. The biggie was trying to fit in with people who weren’t truly my tribe by trying to look like them.
Now I dress for me. If someone doesn’t like me because I’m not wearing what they consider cool, then please “don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya.” I don’t do superficial anyway.
I know, I know…this really isn’t about the clothes we wear…it’s about how to care without it defining who we are.
So how do we do that?
SOME IDEAS FOR HOW TO CARE WITHOUT IT DEFINING US
When we find ourselves caring to the point of defining rather than connecting here are some things we can access and remember…
There’s no such thing as rejection. There isn’t. It’s just God, our Higher Power, or the Universe’s way of protecting us from something or someone that isn’t a good fit. That way we have the space and the energy for something or someone that is a great fit.
Fill our holes ourselves. If we’re looking for validation via others’ thoughts or opinions it helps to check in and find out why. What are we missing? What do we need?
Here’s the thing, when we have a void, it doesn’t matter how much we look to others to fill it. It’s a hole that only we can reach and fill. If we don’t fill it, what others give to us will only seep out that hole.
Don’t know where the holes are or how to fill them? Not to worry. Have an exploratory chat with someone you trust, like a friend, partner or coach. You’d be amazed at the awareness you create when you share your thoughts and feelings out loud.
Watch the story telling. As human beings we love a good story and we will tell them…even the not so good ones that are firmly rooted in our own critical thoughts and fears. The key is to catch it when we are telling that story and just stop. We don’t need to switch the story; we just need to stop telling it.
Look to ourselves for our own approval and opinion. Will this make me happy? Will I have any regrets if I do or don’t do this?
A little factoid: Most people are too busy worrying about what other people think of them and what they’re doing. Which means they actually have little time to worry about what we’re doing.
Using our values as a guide for what we do rather than other people’s thoughts. Our values are deeply connected to who we are. When we use them as the foundation for what we do, we don’t allow others' thought and opinions to define what we do or us.
Someone’s critical point of view belongs to them…really. If someone is critical of what we do (or us), it says a heck of a lot more about him or her then it really does us. Criticalness is just a projection of another person’s own insecurities.
Here’s a line from Brene’ Brown’s talk (below) that’s helping me to release some of my own “stuff” around criticalness…
“If you’re not in the arena also getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.”
Meaning everyone’s entitled to their own opinions and I don’t always have to agree or take those opinions and make them my own.
Explore the fear. Envision the worst-case scenario. What if what we’re scared of really happened? Then what? Then what? Then what? Leaning into the fear helps to squelch it.
ADDITIONAL COOL RESOURCE: If you’re struggling with the fear of what other people think, please check out this post by Dan Stelter. He’s gathered some cool insight from self-growth experts on this very topic.
Check our choices. With conscious choice comes personal power. When we become aware that we’re allowing others' thoughts and opinions to define us we have the choice to do something else.
So my friends, I want to invite you to think about how things might be different for you if you cared only for connection's sake. What would change for you? What impact might this have on you and your relationships?
At the end of the day it is my hope that we are caring about others’ thoughts and opinions only to connect and not to define!
As always, please know I’m here and I’m listening.
Sending you much love and light from my open-heart to yours…
Using it to save my backside
“Mindfulness is the aware, balanced acceptance of the present experience. It isn’t more complicated than that. It is opening to or receiving the present moment, pleasant or unpleasant, just as it is, without either clinging to it or rejecting it.” ~Sylvia Boorstein
“Mindfulness”. That word has been floating around me a lot lately. It’s shown up in the things I’m reading. It’s making its way into conversations. It’s just there and for good reason.
When anything appears more than twice in a short span of time I’ve learned to pay attention. Chances are the reappearance is because there’s something I’m meant to learn, shift, grow from, or just stop.
And the truth of the matter is that over the last month I’ve not been mindful. Instead, I’ve been bitchy, negative, complaining, judgmental, and angry.
OK..so that’s not completely accurate. I’ve had periods of mindfulness, but that’s ONLY been during my coaching calls, classes or intuitive readings. Otherwise, I’ve allowed negative situations, people, news, and social media posts to fuel my own mindless bullshit.
I really haven’t liked the me that has been showing up lately so it’s no wonder mindfulness is appearing over and over again!
“Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).” ~James Baraz
I get that shit happens. BUT it’s not the shit that has been the issue; it’s how I’ve chosen to deal with it…and the fact that I’ve hung on to it and allowed it to permeate my energy and take up valuable mental real estate. That’s been the real issue!
Normally as my mindful self shit doesn’t bother me all that much. I may get a little prickly but I don’t take it to full-blown bitch mode where not only do I chew on it until it’s lost it’s flavor, but I moan and groan about it repeatedly.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
That full-blown bitch mode has been ruling the roost for long enough. She needs to stop messing with my mindfulness. She can come along for the ride, but she doesn’t get to talk any more. And she no longer gets to choose the direction we’re headed in.
Because I want the mindful me back in the driver’s seat, here are some things I’ve started doing and will continue to do…
Morning Routines. They say that meditation is great for mindfulness. I’m getting back to my morning routine of journaling and intuitive readings as my form of meditation.
Breath Work. Morning, Noon, and Night…deep breathing is my best friend, especially if I find myself getting a tad mindless.
Practicing Radical Acceptance. Remembering that there are just some things I can’t change. If I can’t change them... reacting, raising my blood pressure, or becoming mindlessly bitchy is not going to do anything but take me farther away from me.
Hey Mindfulness, thank you for the wake-up call and for saving my backside!! Here’s to returning to my peace-loving, heart-centered, positive self.
As always, I’m here and I’m listening. If you’ve been struggling with mindlessness or if you have some ways that help you to stay mindful, do share.
Until next time, I’m sending you all some mindful love and light from my open-heart to yours….
Becoming a “magnet for miracles”
“Knowing your “why” is the key to fulfillment. When you are clear about it, your intention will then be a magnet for miracles.”
I recall a time in the not too distant past where I was unsettled, unfilled, unhappy, and just plain tired. Tired of my life the way that it was. I was chasing my tail, eating my feelings literally and metaphorically. I was living off of credit cards to make ends meet, doing odd jobs that were just that, odd and not fulfilling. I was not only miserable, but I was desperate.
It was not what I had envisioned for myself when I graduated from college many years prior. I envisioned a life filled with direction, purpose, fulfillment, and fun.
If you had asked me what my purpose (my ‘why’) was I would have furrowed my forehead and said, “My purpose? What purpose?”
I didn’t have a frickin’ clue what my purpose was. Not one clue. I was sure that other people had one, but somehow I must have been absent on the day that purposes were being handed out.
Here’s the reality... my purpose, my ‘why”, had been with me forever. I just didn’t see it. I didn’t see it because I was too busy burying myself under the “should dos”, others’ expectations of me and for me, and my own fear.
I was stuck on a hamster wheel of uncertainty and directionless. Going round and round until one day I broke. I just flat out broke.
Actually I didn’t break, I just broke down in the middle of the restroom of a busy restaurant. Sobbing my eyes out, feeling like a complete and total loser.
It was that day that something snapped. Not an “I’m crazy” kind of snap…more like a “wake up and smell the coffee” snap. It was that day that I woke up and started to pay attention to all the signs and signals I was being given. Signs and signals that would point me in the direction of my true North…my “why”.
I followed those signs and signals (FINALLY!). I answered some pretty tough questions, I explored (with the help of my own coach), I dug out from all the “shoulds” and others’ expectations and that’s when I found it…
My “why”! My amazing, beautiful, exciting, fulfilling “WHY”!!
And with my “why” came the miracles…the miracle of using my “why” to create my dream career, a loving, beautiful home, and to finding my person (the love of my life).
No more hamster wheel. No more living off of credit cards, no more feeling like a total loser!
BECOMING A MAGNET FOR MIRACLES
It’s so easy for all of us at any point in our lives to get stuck on that hamster wheel. The good news is we don’t have to stay there. We can get off that wheel with our “why”.
Are you ready to get off that wheel or prevent yourself from ever getting back on it?
If the answer is “yes” I invite you to participate in a little challenge.
Here’s how this challenge is going to work. For the next 14 days, with a piece of paper or journal in hand, answer the following questions. But here’s the kicker, please do not edit yourself or overthink…just write. Even if you start out by writing, “ I don’t know the answer” over and over until more comes up for you. Let whatever is coming up to come out on that page.
To make it a bit easier, I’ve created a nifty little graphic (see below) that you can save (by right clicking on it) or you’re welcome to bookmark this page and revisit it each day. Whatever works best for you.
Are you ready?
Let the challenge and the miracles begin….
Day 1: What are your top three values and why? (Need help discovering your values? Listen to this recording.)
Day 2: What’s your favorite thing to do on a weekend?
Day 3: What is your favorite word and why?
Day 4: What are your strengths?
Day 5: What’s your greatest asset?
Day 6: What do you want to be remembered for?
Day 7: What makes you feel most at peace or in the flow?
Day 8: What did you want to be when you grew up?
Day 9: What kinds of books or movies do you like most?
Day 10: If money & time were of no object, what would you do?
Day 11: What three words best describe you and why?
Day 12: As a kid, what was your favorite thing to do?
Day 13: What commonalities do you find in your journal entries?
Day 14: What's your “why”?
If you’re still struggling to figure out your “why”, not to worry…I’ve got your back. I’m here and I’m listening. Feel free to post your questions or get in touch.
My deepest wish for all of us is to know and connect with our “why” on a daily basis so fulfillment and miracles are not something we just read about or dream of, but something we actually experience!
Until next time, I’m sending you much love and light from my open heart to yours…
Simple ways to challenge your own status quo
Imagine being in a job or a profession that no longer excites you or maybe it never did. You get up. Get dressed. Pour yourself some coffee. Go to work. Finish work. Have dinner. Go to bed. Rinse and repeat day-after-day, month-after-month, and year-after-year.
It’s a comfortable gig. It’s a known gig.
Welcome to complacency.
It happens in business. It happens in the workplace. It happens in our relationships. It happens in our day-to-day. It settles into our lives and we unknowingly welcome it.
We get comfy and cozy with the way things are. Comfy enough that not even the feeling of lackluster could shake us from the grips of complacency.
“The tragedy of life is often not in our failure, but rather in our complacency; not in our doing too much, but rather in our doing too little; not in our living above our ability, but rather in our living below our capacities.” - Benjamin E. Mays
My friends, I don’t believe that any of us was born to live “below our capacities”. We just sometimes do and we’re just sometimes unaware.
To bring on the awareness… I’m challenging all of us to consider the areas of our lives where we’re “living below our capacities”. Where we’ve allowed complacency to settle in and take root.
SIGNS OF COMPLACENCY
Since complacency can creep in silently and take over, here are a few signs to look out for.
Are any of those signs present? If so, here are some simple tips we can use to shake things up. Complacency hates a good shake up!
OVERTHROWING COMPLACENCY AND THE STATUS QUO
“I'm not interested in preserving the status quo; I want to overthrow it.
To overthrow complacency…
Lets get our creative on. Color. Draw. Write. Paint pottery. Cook….whatever strikes our creative fancy. Getting creative helps to move us beyond complacency.
Try something new; a new route, restaurant, food, hairstyle, pen color, or outfit. Nothing gives complacency a run for its money then by introducing something new.
Say “yes, and” instead of “yes, but”. “Yes buts” are followed by excuses, whereas “yes ands” are followed by options. Options are awesome complacency squashers.
Not going it alone. Asking someone we trust to call us out when we’re settling or showing signs of complacency.
Engage our values because when we do things connected to our values we aren’t in danger of getting stuck in a complacent place.
Take a page from a child’s book and stay curious and open to the potentials.
Now imagine your world without complacency. What would be possible?
Whatever we do let’s make a pact to give complacency a run for its money... because we definitely deserve to live way above our capacity.
Just know you don’t have to challenge complacency alone. I’m here and I’m listening.
As always, I’m sending you much love and light from my open heart to yours…
Tips for saying “no” with more ease
“No, I can’t right now.”
“No, I’m not interested.”
“No, that doesn’t work for me.”
Saying “no” has never been easy for me. To this very day my “people pleasing, don’t want to piss anyone off,” alter ego and her sidekick FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) appear every time I need or want to say “no”.
I’ll admit, while I’ve come a long way (and I mean a long way) I still have some work to do before I’ll consider myself a master at saying “no”. But there’s great hope.
Most recently I saw the light at the end of the proverbial “no” tunnel. And that light leads to a road where saying “no” comes with no guilt, stomach knots, or the fear of missing out (FOMO).
Sound good? Keep reading.
THE ROAD TO MASTERY
I was once told that the Universe puts in front of us what we have yet to master. Once we have gained mastery that lesson is finished, no longer to be seen again.
I was reminded of this during a coaching call with a client. This client had no issues saying “no”. After years of practice they found something that worked. Something that gave the mastery nod to the Universe, letting the Big U know that they figured it out.
I was in awe of their mastery and how easy they made it sound. (Not to mention a tad envious.) No guilt. No fuss. No muss. No hurt feelings. No FOMO, just the ability to say “no” with confidence.
I listened with ears like a sponge. Soaking up every tidbit of information until it all made perfect sense. As the road to mastery began to unfold this is what I came away with…
The first step on the road to mastering the art of saying “no” is discerning the “want to” versus “obligation” factor of any situation. And the very best way to do that is to ask some questions. For example;
Am I saying “yes” to this because I feel I have to?
Do I really want to say “no”?
Is this something I really want to do, but can’t do at this time?
If it’s a “want to” but the timing is off there are ways to say “no” without closing the door. This is the next step, creatively saying “no” with alternatives.
“I’m sorry I’m not available to do that on the 21st, but I do have space in my calendar the following week.”
“I’d love to help with the newsletter. I can write some content, but I can’t do the formatting. Have you checked with Jim? He’s great at formatting.”
“The party sounds like fun, but unfortunately I’m already booked for that night. I’d love to attend the next party, so please keep me in mind.”
FOMO AND ALTERNATIVE REJECTION
What if alternatives don’t work for the other party and there’s no room for compromise? What if Sidekick FOMO comes out to play?
OK, this part I’ve got mastered and here’s my secret weapon for dealing with FOMO, as well as the alternative rejection.
I remind myself that there’s no such thing as rejection. I remind myself that rejection is just the Universe’s way of protecting my time and energy from something that’s not a good fit. So by creatively saying “no” I’ve created the space and the time for something that’s a better fit. I’ve also let it be known that I’m open to the possibilities, but at a time and under circumstances that work for all parties involved.
You know what? Something better always comes along.
WHAT ABOUT THE OBLIGATION FACTOR?
This is where the rubber truly meets the road; feeling like we SHOULD say “yes”. “Should” is a great indicator that we’re feeling obligated to do something. Saying “yes” out of obligation leads to hurt feelings, resentment, lack of time, frustration, half-assed efforts, etc.
Any time I’ve said “yes” out of obligation I’m left dealing with the resentment that comes as result… resentment towards the situation, towards the person asking, towards myself for not saying “no”. It’s ugly and unfair to all parties involved. I know I’d really hate it if someone said “yes” to me not because they wanted to, but because they felt they had to.
This is where the other step comes in; the step of less is more.
Saying “no” without explaining it away.
I know from past experience when I’ve explained my reasoning for saying “no”, I’ve usually managed to dig myself into a hole, making myself sound guilty of doing something wrong. I’ve discounted my good reasons and the other person by saying too much. It’s not the actual “no” that creates the issue; it’s the feeling of having to explain myself...that's the real issue.
Going forward on this road to mastery, I’m taking a page from my client’s book and I’m going to offer a “Thanks for asking, but I’m sorry I can’t.” Even as I typed that there was a sense of relief with no sidekicks, guilt, or fear rearing their heads.
So to recap the road to mastering the art of saying “no”…
Step 1: Discerning “want tos” from obligation
Step 2: Offering alternatives
Step 3: Less is more
Here’s to saying “no” with a bit more ease. Until next time, I’m sending you all lots of love and light from my open heart to yours.
And please don’t forget, I’m here and I’m listening.
Moving it out of the way
Fear of success
Fear of failure
Fear of loss
Fear of being hurt
Fear of being alone
Fear of being unlovable
Fear of not being good enough
We all have fears. It’s part of being a human being.
I once read (I think it was in Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear) that we’ll never be void of fear. At first I didn’t believe it. Surely there had to be a way to remove fear once and for all. Some rigorous exercise for eradication, perhaps… so we could live fear-free lives??
I recall a time in my life when I had so many fears that if someone told me to try a Linda Blair style exorcism, I would have.
The reality is, similar to negative thoughts, fear happens. And just like negative thoughts, it’s not the fear that’s the issue. It’s what we do with it or better yet, what we allow it to do with/to us… that’s the real issue.
But my friends, there’s a silver lining in that dark fear cloud. While we may never be void of it, there are definitely things we can do to deal with it, to stand up to it, to move it out of the way or barrel through it.
SOME COOL FEAR FACTOIDS
I think it was Francis Bacon who once said, “Knowledge is power.” He was right. When it comes to fear, the more knowledge we have the more powerful we become.
Here are a few cool fear factoids (some taken from the e-course The Insider’s Guide to Dealing With Fear) to arm you with a bit more power.
Fear doesn’t ever really need to be in control or in the driver’s seat. We choose to place it there in how we deal or don’t deal with it.
Fear doesn’t live in the present moment. Nope, it lives in the future and in past, but mostly in the future.
When we shine a light on fear it diminishes. I once heard this great analogy that fear is like bacteria. If kept in the dark it will grow and grow, but if we bring it into the light it dies.
Fear serves a purpose. It keeps us safe from harm or toxic situations. It also validates the importance of something in our lives. Say, for example, we have a fear of failing at a job or on a project. That fear is letting us know that whatever we’re doing is important, important enough to not fail.
I apologize for my redundancy, but this is key and worth repeating…it’s not the fear that is our real issue. It’s what we choose to do when the fear appears that can become the issue.
THOSE TESTED STRATEGIES
Sure we could let fear knock us over, talk us out of going for that promotion, shut us down, or make us run in the opposite direction of something really awesome. OR we could arm ourselves with the following tested strategies to deal with the fear.
(Yep, they’ve been thoroughly tested. I personally use them and I use them with clients …they’ve got a successful track record.)
STRATEGY #1: Forgetting Everything’s All Right
For the life of me I can’t remember where I heard that F.E.A.R = Forgetting Everything’s All Right, but I gotta say… when I remind myself that everything really is all right the fear loosens its grip. It then triggers the realization that regardless of what has scared me in the past, I’ve always managed to make it through and come out the other side.
Give it a whirl the next time fear hits. It’s really as simple as saying, “I’m forgetting that everything’s all right.”
STRATEGY #2: Present Moment.
Remember when I shared that fear doesn’t live in the present moment? It’s true. Most of the things we fear are future-based, which causes us to worry about what has yet to happen or may never happen. Viola, we have just been transported from our current time and space to some place in the future.
Focusing in on our breathing is a great way to get present. Quick, easy, and can be done anywhere without drawing the attention of passers-by.
If we’re alone we can take a scan of our surroundings and share out loud what we’re most grateful for. “I’m grateful for the carpet under my feet, the light streaming through the window…”
Since the brain can’t think positive thoughts and negative thoughts at the same time, this little gratitude exercise pushes fear out of the way and pulls us into the present moment.
STRATEGY #3: Talk It Out
What better way to shine a light on fear and diminish it, then to talk it out with someone we trust? I always find talking about the fear helps me, not only to uncover what it’s trying to tell me, but it’s also empowering to know that I’m not alone.
STRATEGY #4: Then What? (One of the powerful exercises used in the e-course The Insider’s Guide to Dealing With Fear)
Pick one fear and then with that fear in mind answer this question, “What would happen if what you fear actually happened?”
Let whatever is coming up come out. Let’s not censor ourselves here because we’re not being judged or graded, I promise.
Now answer this question, ”Then what?”
Again, let whatever is coming up to come out.
And then answer this question, “Then what?”
The key is to keep asking “Then what?” until we run out of answers or we come up with some solutions/realizations that take the power away from the fear.
STRATEGY #5: Prove the fear wrong.
When we do something any way, regardless of the fear we prove it wrong. (As long as what we’re doing isn’t going to put us in danger or harm’s way.) When we prove fear wrong it slinks off into the sunset.
Even though we may never be void of fear completely, we are in charge. We have the power of choice on our side; do we let it stop us or do we take a stand and implement a strategy to deal with it? The choice is ALWAYS ours.
I say take a stand. Who’s with me?
Just know you're not alone. I'm hear and I'm listening.
Until next time, I’m sending you much love and light from my open heart to yours…