Growing up my dad used to always say, “Happiness is a switch in your head that you don’t have to reach for via your anal sphincter.” Can I just tell you how much I hated that saying? I’d cringe every time he’d say it.
I got what he was trying to say; it was my choice whether I wanted to be happy or not. Message received and message questioned.
As a mindset coach, I’ve come to understand we’ve got an amazing power to choose.
We choose what we say.
We choose what we do or don’t do.
We choose what we think.
We even choose the narrative we tell and believe, which ultimately impacts how we feel BUT...and this is a BIG BUT... sometimes going from feeling crappy to feeling happy isn't as easy as just choosing and flipping a switch.
Sometimes that's just too huge a leap to make. And sometimes in trying to make that leap we wind up feeling worse.
If you relate to what I just shared, I'd love to share a little something I've found helps to shift my mood/feelings. I call it Incremental Shifting and here's how it works...
Let's say I'm feeling down in the dumps and I don't have time or the inclination to have a pity party; 1) I think about what's the most doable feeling I can muster on the opposite end of the feeling spectrum. Maybe all I can muster is feeling a sense of peace or calm. 2) I brainstorm things I can do to feel peaceful or calm (deep breathing, meditating, journaling, etc.) 3) I pick one thing from my brainstormed list and do it.
What I've found happens; Incremental Shifting often produces a chain reaction where the end result is feeling better than the incremental feeling I chose.
If you decide to give Incremental Shifting a try, let me know how it worked for you.
Until next time, stay safe and well!
Much ✌ ❤️💡…
I recently bought Glennon Doyle’s book “Untamed” and I’m so glad I did. I'm resonating with her stories. She’s like my sister from another mister, who like me lived in a cage of expectations to be someone she wasn’t in order to fit in with everyone else.
While I’m not finished with the book, what I’ve read made me ask myself this question; am I living my truth and being the most uncaged version of me?
Not completely and not in all the ways I can.
For example, I still have my moments when I don’t share my feelings to avoid rocking the boat. And most recently I realized that I was delaying (a nicer way of saying that I’ve been procrastinating) the work on my book, “The Stories I Told Myself” ....guess why? Writing it is requiring me to stand firmly in my truth, being the most vulnerable and raw that I’ve ever been.
BUT even though I have some work left to do, I’m proud to say, I’m living my truth more now than ever before. I’ve come out of my cage for the most part. (I think I still a few toes or maybe even a foot in the cage which is a heck of a lot better than my whole self.)
STEPPING OUT OF THE CAGE
Gloria Steinem, taking a verse from the Bible, once said...”The truth will set you free, but first, it will piss you off.” And as I think about living my truth untamed and uncaged (like Glennon) a sense of freedom washes over me. I can’t say it pisses me off so much as it scares the crap out of me to completely step outside the cage.
What if stepping outside of it isn’t safe? What if my truth pisses others off? (Meet my inner critic, folks!)
Regardless of what my inner critic says, I know a) the scary feeling and inner critic are just reminding me how important it is to me to live my truth, b) that the truth is my key to stay outside of the cage once and for all, and c) I’ve never grown from a place of comfort.
So, what is my truth?
FOLLOWING MY NORTH STAR
My truth is my North Star and if I’m completely present to it, I know when I’m following it versus not following it.
What I’m finally coming to realize, my truth is about making me proud, proud of me as I am. It’s not about doing what’s expected of me but rather doing what I expect of me. My truth is showing up like me, even if me in that moment is cranky and irritable.
Being able to show up authentically, no matter what that looks like is the greatest gift I can give myself and the best thing I can do for my mindset.
Here’s the thing, if I DON’T continue to work on living my truth I’ll allow my inner critic to convince me that it’s safer to morph into someone to please others... which always leads to me settling and going back in the cage.
At the end of the day, I’m here to live for me. I’m not here to live for others. I’m not here to be someone I’m not so that I fit just anywhere. And I’m damn sure not going to settle so I wind up back in that cage.
I’m committed now more than ever (thank you. Glennon) to be my uncaged self which means doing the following...
- Sharing my feelings when it’s important to do so.
- When I feel that I’m veering away from my North Star asking myself, “What is my truth right now?” and then paying close attention to what I think and feel.
- Finishing my book no matter what!
SOME THINGS TO REMEMBER
As I continue my work living my truth I’m going to use the following reminders as support...
1) There are going to be people who aren’t going to jive with my truth and that’s OK. For every person that doesn’t, there are those that will. What’s most important is knowing that I’ll always jive with me when I’m living my truth.
2) My truth doesn’t need to compare itself to someone else’s to see if it measures up. My truth is good enough!
3) My truth doesn’t need to judge someone else’s in order to validate it. My truth doesn’t need validation.
4) My truth is mine. It’s for me and defined only by me.
So, my friends, I want to ask you a question...
Are you living your truth and being the most uncaged version of yourself? If not, and if you’re ready to grab your key to the cage be sure to reach out!
I love quotes. I collect them like someone who collects baseball cards, concert t-shirts, or recipes. They're the magical mojo I pull out of my back pocket when I need a mindset adjustment.
So, the following are all mindset based quotes, because well...that's my jam. ;) Enjoy them, take any of them with you, and if you have one to share, please do!
“I want to feel my life while I'm in it." - Meryl Streep
If you think you were born to be average, think again.
If you think you were meant to settle in this life, think again.
If you think you’re not enough, think again.
Our thoughts fuel our mindset, how we see our world, and how we feel about it. And the good news is; we can always change our mindset. We have that power.
What narrative are you telling yourself that’s not supportive?
What are your options when it comes to that narrative?
“My dad encouraged us to fail. Growing up, he would ask us what we failed at that week. If we didn’t have something, he would be disappointed. It changed my mindset at an early age that failure is not the outcome, failure is not trying. Don’t be afraid to fail.” - Sara Blakely
I once heard that failing is a growth opportunity but only if you choose for it to be. I used to sit in the fear of failing because I wondered how I was going to save face. It wasn’t until I realized that I was missing out on some cool opportunities to grow and learn that my mindset about failing changed. Failing is not a death knell, it’s a chance to expand and grow but it truly is in how we look at it.
Do you play it safe so you never fail? Or do you take a chance, put yourself out there, try something different knowing that if things go “South” you always have a chance to learn and grow?
“Nothing is impossible. The word itself says ‘I’m possible!’ “ – Audrey Hepburn
It’s all in what we believe and that’s based on what we tell ourselves. Our brains are sponges, soaking up all that we tell it and then making us feel the feels connected with the thoughts.
What do you tell yourself about you and what you can do?
“You will either step forward into growth, or you will step backward into safety.” - Abraham Maslow
Now that's a truth bomb! We don't grow from a place of safety and complacency. When we stretch ourselves and celebrate the stretch that's when we continue to strengthen a growth mindset.
What do you choose, growth or safety?
“The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.” - Albert Ellis
This one is a show stopper. I used to blame others for my mistakes and my unhappiness. Victim mentality your table is waiting. Talk about a powerless place to come from.
Want to take back your personal power from any situation, issue, or person? Stop blaming and start looking for the lesson, the option, the choice you can make at that moment. Trust me when I tell you it makes a HUGE difference when we realize just how much power we truly have.
Just remember, what we believe impacts what we do and what we don't do...and you, my friend, have the power to do some EXTRAORDINARY things.
So, if you're looking to change the narrative or rewrite any of the crappy stories that are impacting your mindset... Reach out because I have your back and I'm listening.
Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and thought, “Damn, I look great today! I’m digging my outfit and my hair is on-point.”? And then a week later, you put on the same outfit, you do your hair in the same way, with one exception...
You look in the mirror and you don’t see the same thing you saw a week prior. This time you see dark circles under your eyes and what looks like a new worry line taking occupancy on your forehead.
Instead of thinking, “Damn, I look great today!” you think, “Damn, I look haggard and horrible. What’s with this outfit?! What was I thinking putting this thing on?”
Why the difference in perceptions? Same person, same outfit. What gives?!
Mindset, that’s what. We may see with our eyes but it’s our mindset that determines how we feel and what we think about what we’re seeing.
Essentially, mindset is the lens we view the world through which impacts how we feel, what we believe, and what we do or don’t do.
POSITIVE VS. NEGATIVE MINDSETS
There is a multitude of ways to categorize mindset based on tons of research. For example, Carol Dweck author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success places mindset in two categories growth (traits and qualities can change) and fixed (traits and qualities can’t change).
When you enter a mindset, you enter a new world. In one world — the world of fixed traits — success is about proving you’re smart or talented. Validating yourself. In the other — the world of changing qualities — it’s about stretching yourself to learn something new. Developing yourself. - Carol Dweck
While Ryan Gottfredson, mental success coach and author of “Success Mindsets: Your Keys to Unlocking Greater Success in Your Life, Work & Leadership” adds these additional categories;
While I love and appreciate the categories and the roles they play in understanding mindset, for simplicity's sake I like to use positive vs. negative when I’m identifying mindset.
To me, a positive mindset is expansive, whereas a negative mindset is constricted and closed.
“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill
With a positive mindset, we see our mistakes as an opportunity for learning, whereas with a negative mindset, we see mistakes as failures.
With a positive mindset, we’re open to new ideas and opportunities and with a negative mindset, we’re more apt to stick with the known.
With a positive mindset, we feel empowered and with a negative mindset, we feel deflated and defeated.
With a positive mindset, our self-talk is “can do” and with a negative mindset, our inner critic screams, “can’t” or creates a negative narrative to talk us out of taking action.
MY OWN DANCE WITH NEGATIVE MINDSET
I’m no stranger to a negative mindset. Mine is a weaver of negative narratives conjuring up all sorts of “wicked” tales to try and talk me out of doing some pretty cool things.
Like in 2005 when my negative mindset tried to convince me that I sucked as a coach and had no business coaching. Or years later when it tried to convince me that I was going to lose clients if I offered intuitive readings. The most recent narrative is all about the book that I’ve been working on, how my sharing my personal story is going to tick off some folks and how no one is going to read it, so why write it!?
Here’s what I’ve come to understand as a result of dancing with my own negative mindset, I’ve got a choice when it comes to what I allow it to talk me out of. I have a choice in shifting it and how I shift it.
WAYS TO SHIFT FROM A NEGATIVE TO A POSITIVE MINDSET
If you take anything away from this post, I hope it’s this... a negative mindset happens. And it’s not the negative mindset that is the issue, it’s what we allow it to do that becomes the issue. So, I’d like to offer the following to experiment with. These are things that I use when I want to shift from a negative mindset to a positive one.
Exercise choice. I do this by asking myself the question, “What do I choose to believe right now?” (Since my mindset impacts what I believe.) Choice takes power away from the negative mindset and puts it back with me.
Seek truth. When the negative mindset creeps in and the narratives start I ask myself, “What do I know to be the truth?” or a variation of that question. The key is creating awareness around what’s fact vs. fiction because our brains can’t tell the difference without our guidance.
Using the “feelers”. Because our mindset impacts how we feel and vice-versa I like to ask myself, “How do I want to feel right now?” BUT and this is a BIG BUT I don’t try and go from one feeling extreme to another because that often leads to frustration.
So, if I’m feeling “meh”, for example, and I don’t want to feel “meh” I’ll choose a feeling that is incrementally better, like say, peaceful or relaxed. And then I’ll do things that’ll help me to feel peaceful or relaxed, like deep breathing exercises (Speaking of breathing exercise, there’s a cool one in the downloadable Brain Detox. Check it out; it’s free and easy to use). Shifting my feelings incrementally shifts my mindset.
Which experiment will you try the next time you want to shift your mindset?
Just remember, you’re in control of your mindset and not the other way around...even though it doesn’t always feel that way. ;) Let me know your thoughts and if you have any questions, I’m here and I’m listening.
"You were given a right foot and a left foot, not a right foot and a wrong foot."
I fricking love that quote!
Perspective, at the end of the day, is subjective and that's what this quote reminds me of. Our perspective, our truth, and what we consider personally right and wrong.
Oh, and before I continue I think it's important to share that I'm not talking about the absolute wrongs in this world. Wrongs like racism, racial profiling, discrimination, hate speech and hate crimes, cruelty, abuse...those are definite wrongs.
What I'm talking about is the differing of opinions, thoughts, ideas, and perspectives.
THE NEED TO BE RIGHT
That quote also reminds me of that need to be right which I recently bumped up against. My own and someone else's.
Not to bore you with the gory details. Let's just say, I was trying to convince someone to see something my way. And since turn around is fair play, I was also on the receiving end of similar behavior.
And it got me thinking...
Why, as human beings, do we have to be right?
What happens when we're wrong?
My answer to the question... my ego. It's my ego that drives that need to be seen as a value-add, to "save face", or to be seen as smart.
And you want to know something funny?
When I'm on the receiving end of someone's "need to be right", I don't see anything of those things because I'm too pissed off.
"Don't tell me what to think. Your way isn't the way for me so stop trying to get me to see it your way. How dare you discount my thoughts."
That means there's a damn good chance I'm not coming across as a value-add or smart. Just annoying and discounting.
SEEING THINGS THROUGH THE LENS OF RIGHT OR WRONG
The reality is, when I look at things through the lens of right or wrong, I close myself off from seeing a different perspective. I shut down the opportunity to learn and to grow.
I stay in that place of "it's my way or the highway" or as a dear friend and colleague of mine says, I'm "married to being right".
And worse, I put a tight lid on the opportunity to connect.
SO, WHAT IF...
What if I(we) entertained the thought that there's a right for me and a right for you? That neither is wrong.
For the sake of clarity, that's not to say that I have to adopt another person's thoughts, ideas, perspectives, or opinions. Just be open to listen and to be curious.
I do that when I'm coaching my clients and some pretty cool things happen.
I remove my ego and listen from my heart.
I create deeper connections.
I learn something new about my clients.
I get cool ideas.
And I definitely avoid being annoying and discounting.
THE CHALLENGE & CALL TO ACTION
So, I'm daring myself to a challenge and I'd love the company if you care to join me. For the next 21 days, when I catch myself "needing to be right" in my personal relationships, I'm going to switch gears. I'm going to engage my curiosity and listen open-heartedly (like I do when I'm coaching) and see what cool things I may learn.
Are you with me?
I'm so sorry for the ear worm. I really am and if you can get past it, I've got a question for you...
How often do you celebrate? If that feels like a strange question, it kind of is, actually. But there's a method to my madness in asking it.
As a mindset coach and a person who totally geeks out on all things mindset-related, I've come to realize how helpful celebrating is when it comes to quieting that inner critic and creating a more positive mindset. And sadly, I don't think we take much time to celebrate. Yours truly included. Here's why...
WE ARE MUCH BETTER AT CALLING OUT "THE NEGATIVE"
“The truth is that everything that can be accomplished by showing a person when he's wrong, ten times as much can be accomplished by showing him where he is right. The reason we don't do it so often is that it's more fun to throw a rock through a window than to put in a pane of glass." - Robert T. Allen
It's true. We're much better at pointing out mistakes and flaws then we are at celebrating efforts. (We actually have negative bias to thank for that.)
So, rather than celebrate a project or goal completed, we move from that project or goal to the next. BUT...not without first taking a moment to point out all the things that didn't work.
WHAT WOULD HAPPEN...
So, what would happen if we were on "high alert" every day for things to celebrate?
Celebrating a lesson learned from a mistake made.
Celebrating taking the high road in a conversation.
Celebrating the parts of a project that worked rather than focusing on the parts that didn't.
What would be possible?
THE COOL SIDE EFFECTS OF CELEBRATING
To that last question, a lot is possible. Like attitudes shifting, mindsets lifting, perspectives changing because...
The brain can't think positive and negative at the same time. And celebrating causes a release of all sorts of "feel good" chemicals in our brain. Oh, and did you know that celebrating helps to increase memory?!
Care to experience those side effects and do a little experimenting of your own?
For the next two weeks let's deliberately celebrate every day. Celebrate the small wins, the cool things that happen, the nice things we do, the lessons learned, the strides taken... let's just celebrate all the good things.
And if celebrating isn't something you've done outside of birthday parties or anniversaries, here are some ideas to support your celebration efforts.
Create a celebration box. What you'll need is a small box, like a shoe box that you can decorate (should you wish to) and 14 small pieces of paper. On each piece of paper write down something that you'd consider a special treat. For example, the book you've wanted to buy, a special dessert, etc. Fold the papers in half and put them inside the box. At the end of the day, take a piece of paper out of the box and give yourself that special treat in celebration of you!
PM celebration journaling. Before your head hits the pillow at night, take stock of your day and list all the cool things that happened. OR if you're like me and can't remember what you had for lunch carry an "Atta Way" notebook with you...a small notebook where you can quickly jot down the cool things so that you can re-read it before bed.
So, on your marks, get set, let's go celebrate because you, my friend are worth celebrating!!
I am so honored and thrilled to have had the chance to be on this podcast with an amazing human being, Samantha Lane. We had such a blast talking about ways to mute that PITA inner critic!
Some of the highlights of this podcast:
Rewire our neural pathways of what we thought was true
Why do our inner critics speak so loudly
Interplay between therapy & coaching
What it means to coach the whole person
Honor and empower yourself with choice
Check it out...
Have you ever expected someone to take your feelings into consideration, only to be hurt when they didn't?
During a time when you were struggling have you ever expected someone near and dear to check-in? Then when they didn't you felt hurt and resentful?
Have you ever expected someone to be there for you in the same way you've been there for them? Then when they didn't show up as you would have, you found yourself royally ticked off?
If you answered "yes" to any of the above, you're definitely not alone. Me too, to all of the above...many times over, actually.
A TURNING POINT
OK, so you'd think after being disappointed and having my feelings hurt repeatedly, I'd maybe get the hint that having expectations of others might not be a good thing.
Nope. Didn't get that hint...
My expectations were clearly on the rinse and repeat cycle until a coach I was working with made a suggestion.
Lower my expectations of others.
Pardon me?! What?! Lower my expectations!?
I didn't get it. I didn't get that it wasn't for me to expect other people to be decent, kind, caring, aware, giving, loving, considerate, <fill in the blank>.
I honestly thought it was OK to have those expectations. Isn't that what people should be?
In short, those expectations became a habit. A perpetual dance with disappointment, anger, and resentment. And being totally honest, they were sometimes a way for me to feel "better than" during a time when I felt the exact opposite. (Cue the inner voice..."I'd consider your feelings before doing that. I'd be there for you....blah...blah...blah".)
THE LESSON FROM A BITCH CALLED EXPECTATION
I didn't get the lower my expectations "thing" until I was ready to change the habit. Once I was ready, here's what I got; my expectations were the issue...not others.
I expected others to handle things in a similar vein to me.
I expected them to be what I wanted them to be.
I expected them to show up for me in the way that I'd show up.
No wonder I was disappointed, resentful, hurt, and angry. Those people weren't me and it was unfair of me to expect them to be. And in hindsight kind of pompous of me.
Once I got that, the disappointment, hurt, and anger lessened. That was until...
I GOT MY FEELINGS HURT ONCE AGAIN
Somehow, most recently, that little lesson on expectations skipped out of town.
I completely forgot about the lowering of expectations. I completely forgot it's unfair of me to expect others to be what I want them to be or react in ways I need them to. And subsequently, I got my feelings hurt.
I won't bore you with my pity-party-ish details because they don't really matter. What matters is the reminder that expectations are an unfair bitch when it comes to others. An unfair bitch that I can...that we can kick to the curb.
And in honor of her departure, I offer these...
EXPERIMENTS AND INSIGHTS
But here's the caveat, take with you what will work for you and leave what won't. OK?
It's OK to have reasonable expectations. Yep, for yourself. And here's a little "litmus test"; if you've set an expectation for yourself and you're having a difficult time meeting it...could be a cool indicator that it's time to lower it a smidgen.
It's not personal. Someone not showing up in the way you wish them to or not taking your feelings into consideration isn't because of you. Trust me. It's because of them...and how they see or don't see things, how they feel, what's going on in their world, etc. The bottom line; it's not personal.
Ask for what you need knowing that people really aren't mind-readers. I don't say that to be snarky. I say that because it's true. Sure it would make things easier, especially since asking can be kinda challenging to the old ego. The one thing I remind myself of consistently ...if I don't ask, the answer will always be "no".
So, my friends, I don't know about you but I'm going to take a page out of Stephen Hawkin's book and lower my expectations again. That way anything positive someone else does is an unexpected bonus! I love positive surprises...how about you?
Normally I wake up jazzed to dive into my morning ritual of journaling, meditating, coffee, and an intuitive reading with some intuitively guided writing. It's my time to just tune-in and see what comes bubbling up and out.
Not this morning. This morning something was off.
But I did as I always do…
I put on my headphones, turned on some soothing, meditative music, and opened my journal. My pen poised and ready for action and then….NOTHING! Nada. Zilch. Zip. A big blank page.
Enter the frustration, which of course didn’t help!
My one saving grace was remembering something Julia Cameron suggested in her book "The Artist's Way"…just write. Write anything on the page even if it's "I don't know what to write" over and over until something comes.
THE JOURNAL ENTRY THAT HAD ME SITTING WITH THE "MEH"
Hmmm…not sure what to write about. I know that not every journal session is going to be filled with "aha" moments of clarity. But this sucks. Nothing is coming up. Hmmm.
Keep writing. It's important to just keep the pen moving, regardless of what lands on the page. I have to remember this is my time with me so it's not what I write that matters. What matters is that I take this time to just be here in this moment of mindfulness.
I'm noticing that as I'm journaling I'm feeling flat and kind of "meh". I'm not sure if it's the headache or what it is but I'm really feeling uninspired… like I don't want to do anything but close my eyes and go back to sleep.
I hope it's just a temporary moment of "blah". All I really want to do is nothing. No "have to's"…just nothingness. That's what sounds awesome right now.
I wonder if it's time for a break? Just to chill and take it easy. Or is it that I just a need to shake up my morning "ritual"? Add something new or do it in a different way … I'm not sure... But what I'm sure of, I'm just feeling "meh".
Wait, maybe I'm not meant to do anything with the "meh". Maybe, for once, I'll do nothing with it … I'll give myself permission to not push through it, to be okay with feeling "meh".
Hey, maybe there's a gift in the "meh"…and I'll never know if I try to chase it away.
Which reminds me of Rumi's Guest House poem… every emotion a visitor to be invited in. Invite the "meh" in ... Have coffee with it and maybe ask it a few questions.
Hey "Meh" tell me about yourself.
Where do you come from?
What brings you here today?
Maybe it will enlighten me and I'll learn something new. Maybe it will remind me of something I've forgotten and needed to be reminded of. Who knows?
What I do know, I'm going to sit with it. Acknowledge it and see what it has to say. I'm sitting with the “meh”.. I'm not pushing it away or sending it out the door. I'm just sitting with all its flatness, it's colorlessness... just sitting with it quietly waiting for it to share whatever it wants to share.
AND THEN ODDLY THIS HAPPENED...
As I sat with the "meh", it left. It went away. I went from feeling like I wanted to do nothing to re-connecting with my usual jazzed feeling. YES!!
And here's why that was odd…I'm the type of person that wants to get to the source of why I'm feeling the way I feel. It's been my MO forever.
Not today. Today I just sat with the "meh" and as a result I learned something really cool!
It's not always necessary to understand "why" we feel the way we do. Sometimes that's just not important. Sometimes what's most important is to give ourselves permission to feel whatever we feel. To sit with it.
In sitting with it, we don't stuff it. We don't push it away. We allow it to come and then go.
Especially during times when the outside world is a little topsy-turvy… sometimes the most helpful thing we can do is give ourselves a little grace to just be with our feelings in an observant kinda way.
I close with this question, the next time you feel "meh" will you sit with it?
I'd be lying if I told you that I'm keeping it all together all day, every day. I'm not. And even though as a mindset coach I've got all sorts of tips and tricks, there are just times when a good ol' fashion meltdown is clearing and cathartic. (For me, a meltdown equates to a good cry.)
Here's the deal...
Feelings kept bottled up, stuffed, buttoned up, etc don't go away. They find a way to come out. Like that snarky comment that we didn't mean to make OR that verbal grenade that we didn't mean to throw.
So, basically what I'm saying is if you feel a meltdown coming on, it's natural. Allow the meltdown to come up and out. (As a side tip: I do my melting down some place quiet so that it doesn't "melt" all over any one else.)
If melting down isn't your thing, I get it! Not to worry. I've got some other handy dandy tricks up my proverbial sleeve. Use these for the times when you feel a "losing it" moment coming on.
Hit the pause button
Yep, when you're feeling the edge coming on and you're about to blow your top, hit the pause button. Which means take a 10 minute time out before you say or do anything. Give yourself a little bit of a break to grab some water or take a deep breath.
Engage some oxytocin
Speaking of breathing, I do a little breathing exercise that's great for chasing away that "losing it" feeling. It's called oxytocin breathing and rather than explain it, here's a video that demonstrates it.
Laugh it off
Laughing releases some awesome "feel good" chemicals. In my house we've been re-binge watching episodes of Schitt's Creek on Netflix in the evenings. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. that show. And if you want a quick little chuckle, check out this hilarious video clip making its way around Facebook.
Just remember, my friend if you feel like you're losing it, you're not alone and you're not going crazy! It's times like these that a little grace for ourselves goes a long way. Just know that I'm sending you a ton of love and light!
Take care of you and stay well and safe...
P.S. For your reading pleasure ... to deal with things like fear, emotions, and how to create bit more calming personal power, be sure to check out the following blog posts.
5 Tested Strategies To Stand Up To Fear
Are You A Stuffer?
We Are So Much Stronger
There will be a day when this challenging time will be in our rear-view mirrors. When the fear will subside. When the panic will stop. When the anxiety will lower. In the meantime, I want to encourage...
...the dreamers to keep dreaming. Your dreams matter so don't you dare let anyone squash them with their own fear or insecurities.
...the light workers to keep shining because we need your shine more than ever.
...the leaders to lead from that heart-centered place, because coming from the heart is what keeps us connected.
...the healers to take good care of yourselves because you and what you're doing is important and appreciated beyond words.
...the mamas and the papas who are trying to hold it all together for their kiddos, please be sure to recharge your batteries. You are loved beyond measure.
We will get through this! You are not alone. And with that said...
With all that is happening right now one of the worst things we can do is keep what's troubling us inside.
Feelings stuffed come out eventually and in ways that aren't always helpful...verbal grenades, resentment, more fear, heaviness, low energy, etc.
For example, when I'm in a place of fear, if I don't release it by sharing it with someone or in my journal, that fear only grows. Once I share it, it shrinks in size and in strength.
Now, more than ever is the time to share. To lighten the load a bit. So, if you need a place to vent or some where to share your concerns and fears, I want you to know that I've got your back.
I've created this confidential form where you can anonymously share whatever is on your mind and in your heart. No judgment, just a safe space to lighten the load.
Just know that I'm sending you all a great deal of love and light, as always!
Please stay safe and healthy!
P.S. VERY IMPORTANT! This form is no way a substitute for professional support. If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal or depressive thoughts, please know support is available. Please, please, please call your health care provider or The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255). You are far too important!
IMPORTANT MEDICAL DISCLAIMER: This post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions you may have regarding a potential medical condition.
Have you ever felt like you were coming down with something, but not in a physical sort of way? Feeling like you were unusually energetically off?
That was me over the last few months.
I felt unusually heavy, drained, and unsettled without cause. To add insult to injury, not knowing the cause drove me nuts. I'm a get to the root kinda gal so I can deal with whatever the source of an issue is to move past it.
I was thinking maybe it was Mercury being in retrograde. (Yep, that's a real thing.) I thought maybe it was menopause. Of course, some of what I'd been feeling might have been related. I hadn't been sleeping all that great which I thought may also have been the reason but I've lacked sleep before and never felt this off and tapped out.
Then a thought hit me, could there be such a thing as energy sickness?
With my curiosity on high alert, I took to Google and typed in "energy sickness" and sure enough there were over 73 million results.
I didn't click on all 73 million links but the ones I did click on confirmed that there was such a thing. Energy sickness is described as being out of balance or alignment to the point that our own systems can't regulate. Which makes so much sense as to why something felt unusually off.
And for some, energy sickness can be accompanied by physical illness, like a cold, body aches, headaches, or the flu.
I felt an odd sense of relief as I was clicking and reading. Cool, I wasn't going crazy or losing my mind. I was suffering from a case of energy sickness.
What Causes Energy Sickness?
As an avid self-care lover and regular participator in many things self-care related being energetically sick made no sense. That was until I realized that while self-care is super important so is paying attention to what I was exposed to that could cause energy sickness. Things like...
Other people's energy (CHECK- as an empath I sometimes soak up other people's energy like a sponge soaks up water.)
Drama (CHECK - was reading the news more than usual.)
Negativity (CHECK - In two words, social media.)
Going through a change, a shift, a healing period, or personal growth. (DEFINITELY CHECK!! I'd been doing a lot of work on my own self-awareness. Having lots of aha moments and shifts. More on this soon.)
Ummm, it's no wonder I came down with energy sickness.
Ways To Avoid & Recover From Energy Sickness
While I'm not 100% back to my normal energy levels, I'm getting there and these are the things that are helping me recover.
Your Energy Wellness
Now it's your turn to tune into your own energy wellness because awareness is key to that wellness.
On a scale of 1-10, (1 = not feeling energetically well and 10 = feeling energetically great), how would you rate your energy wellness right now?
If you're wanting/needing to increase your energy wellness rating and avoid coming down with energy sickness give these two things a whirl.
Take an honest inventory of your world. What's depleting your energy?
What are you willing to experiment with to avoid the things that are depleting it?
Create and use a self-care menu to make self-care a no-brainer.
At the end of the day, you and your energy are far too important to be compromised! Here's to being energetically well! Until next time, I'm sending you much peace, love, light, and loads of good energy.
Have you ever read a book that just lit up your brain? And when I say "lit", I mean it made all sorts of light-bulbs go off. I'm currently reading one of those books.
At the beginning of the year, I started reading The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo. Each day there's a short passage followed by some action-based prompts. I'm not going to lie, there are a few passages that don't really click with me, but the ones that do...boy do they click. My brain lights up like a Christmas Tree and I can't get my thoughts down in my journal fast enough.
Now, since I'm a sucker for a good a-ha moment, particularly ones that are shareable, I thought it would be fun to share some of the love with you.
This is a snippet from the passage titled "Being Kind-I"...
"The great and fierce mystic William Blake said, there is no greater act than putting another before you. This speaks to a selfless giving that seems to be at the base of meaningful love. Yet having struggled for a lifetime with letting the needs of others define me, I've come to understand that without the healthiest form of self-love - without honoring the essence of life that this thing self carries, the way a pod carries a seed - putting another before you can result in damaging self-sacrifice and endless co-dependence."
I've lived up close and personal to co-dependence. Been there, done that. Have the t-shirt and the tiara. So, this passage reminded me of the many times I used to confuse people-pleasing and peace-keeping with being kind. And I don't think I need to tell you....there's a HUGE difference.
For example, stuffing my feelings to keep the peace all because I didn't want to trouble someone else or run the risk of ticking them off. (I still fall into the old habit of saying, "I'm fine." when I'm really not.) Stuffing wasn't kind; it created all sorts of internal chaos.
Doing/Saying things that didn't fit with me to please someone else. That wasn't kind; that got me lost and there's nothing kind about losing your identity. Not to mention, I was lying and lying isn't kind.
ENTER A-HA MOMENTS, STAGE LEFT
A-ha moment #1: The most unkind thing we can ever do to ourselves and others is to not be ourselves. Genuine, heartfelt kindness comes from being who we are.
A-ha moment #2: True kindness doesn't hurt and it sure as heck doesn't cost us our identity or our well-being. EVER
So, I have to ask, do you find yourself being authentically kind? Or do you find that you're being kind at the cost of yourself, your feelings, and/or your well-being?
Have your feathers ever been ruffled by someone doing something you didn’t agree with, even though it had nothing to do with you?
As I was preparing to write this post, an acquaintance popped into my head. She's a perfect example of someone who ruffles my feathers.
This acquaintance makes everything, and I mean everything, about herself. It doesn’t matter what you’re talking about, she’ll find a way to redirect the conversation back on to her. And if someone does something or says something she doesn’t like, she’ll put a passive-aggressive post on Facebook and play the “woe is me” card. It drives me nuts!!
I want to pull her aside and say, “Hey Chica, there are other people in your world. It’s not just about you. Try focusing on them for a bit. Oh, and by the way, if someone ticks you off, rather than post some passive-aggressive BS on Facebook, why don’t you take it off Facebook? Why don’t you try having an adult conversation instead?”
Meet my judge and jury. Uh-huh. There they are finding her guilty of perceived wrong-doings.
It's clear, based on how ruffled my feathers get, that I've got expectations of how she “should” behave. Ummm, that's really not my place at all.
Here’s the REAL kicker; my feathers being ruffled doesn’t impact my acquaintance. She doesn’t know that her behavior drives me nuts. My feathers getting ruffled only impacts me and in a way that’s not cool or OK with me.
Enter the light bulb moment...my judge and jury come out most in my personal life. As a coach, I put my judgment aside, stepping outside of my “map of the world” and stepping into my client’s “map” so I can see things from their perspective.
So, it’s become pretty obvious to me that it’s not someone’s behavior that ruffles my feathers, it’s my judgment and my expectations that cause them to bristle and ruffle.
I figure that if I can be judgment-free with my clients, I can be judgment-free with the people in my personal life. Which has led to a little experiment that, so far, is keeping my feathers from getting twisted in knots.
FROM JUDGE & JURY TO OBSERVER
Have you ever watched something without feeling one way or the other about what you were observing?
For example, maybe you’ve watched an instructional video, just taking in all the information before deciding whether or not the information was going to be of use. In that moment, you're being a neutral observer.
When we’re neutrally observing something, we’re not attached to it in any way. There’s no judgment but instead, there’s a curiosity to find out more.
That’s what I’ve been experimenting with, being a neutral observer when I start to feel my feathers ruffle by something someone does or says that has nothing to do with me.
To make the experiment easier, I’ve broken it down into two simple steps.
Step 1: Being aware of how I feel. This step is pretty crucial. If I’m feeling tightness in my chest or the least bit ticked off, I check-in to see what’s causing the feelings. If those feelings are being caused by my judge & jury I go to the next step.
Step 2: Talk myself off the judge bench or out of the juror box. I usually say something like, “Hmmm, I’m just noticing that she’s talking an awful lot about herself, I wonder why?” or “That’s interesting, she seems to be upset with someone or something.”
Good-bye judge and jury, hello smoother feathers.
WHAT ABOUT YOUR FEATHERS?
My friends, I’d love to hear how you keep your feathers smooth when someone does something that bugs you. Comment here or drop me an e-mail. If you don’t have something that helps, feel free to give the steps above a go. Tweak them, add to them, and make them your own.
Until next time, here’s to smoother feathers. As always, I’m sending you much peace, love, and light....
P.S. If you'd like to receive notification of the latest blog posts, receive cool mindset tips, get a look behind the scenes, and taste test some of the programs on offer, be sure to sign up for the newsletter.
“You didn’t wake up today to be average!” - Alek Toussaint, instructor @onepeloton
How often have you gotten out of bed and said to yourself, “Today, I think I’ll just be average.”?
While you may have never said those words exactly, I’m going to challenge you a little. I bet you’ve said some things to yourself or had thoughts that have made you feel average or maybe even less than.
I know I sure have. Things that put me in a tailspin, made me cranky or supported my shrinking physically.
Like when I “chewed” on someone’s critical comment until the flavor was gone. Or when I stuffed my own feelings until I was about to explode. All because I feared that I’d royally tick someone off. “Hello, Average! Come on in, grab a cup of coffee and stay awhile.”
We’re human. It’s bound to happen. As Dr. Rick Hanson, author of the Buddha’s Brain explains in his many articles and books, our brains are wired to experience negative thoughts. It’s called “negative bias”.
But here’s the real deal, regardless of the negative bias we may experience, none of us were born to be average. We weren’t. We just sometimes choose to be, and maybe not even intentionally.
Just like we choose what to wear every day, we get to choose how we want to show up. We get to choose to be...
<fill in the blank>
What’s important here is recognizing that we get to choose. It’s that choice that makes what may be an unconscious way of showing up, conscious and intentional. Which in all reality, is a pretty cool and powerful place to come from.
Less auto piloting through the day.
Less just allowing things to happen to us.
Less allowing other people’s moods, behavior, actions, etc to become ours.
Less self-critical commentary.
Instead, we're in the driver’s seat determining where we go, what we experience, what we see, what we feel and the impact we wish to have on the world around us.
BEING INTENTIONAL TO AVOID BEING AVERAGE
So, if you’re ready to kick average to the curb, I’d love to offer the following to experiment with.
Intentionally tune-in to what you’re saying. Our minds don’t know fact from fiction. Our minds believe what we tell them. So, if you find that you’re saying some pretty crappy things to yourself, just stop and change your focus. That’s it. You don’t have to change the dialog, unless you want to. The important thing is stopping the negative commentary and switching your focus to something else that makes you feel better. For example, I love to switch my focus to my puppies. It’s hard not to feel good when I’m going in for some puppy cuddles.
Intentionally ask, “How do I want to show up today?” Before you get out of bed ask yourself this question. Then think of one thing you’re committed to doing that will help you to show up in that way. For example, if I’m wanting to show up full of positive energy, I’ll commit to any of the following...
- steering clear of negative conversations
- staying away from the news for the day
- staying off of Facebook
- getting outside
- eating well
NOW IT'S YOUR TURN...
How do you want to show up today? Remember, you get to choose so have some fun being intentional.
Until next time, I send you all much peace, love, and light!
“What you said was stupid!”
“What are you wearing? You look like a frump!”
“You didn’t do that right. What were you thinking?”
When you read those comments, do they connect with you in some way?
Do comments like that make you shrink? Shut you down? Put you on the defensive? Drive you crazy? Bring out the worst in you?
Critical comments are a HUGE trigger for me. HUGE. I always feel like they're a passive-aggressive way to tell me that who I am as I am is not cool or good enough.
“Don’t be you, Pam.” “Conform.” “Be what I need you to be.”
In short, I perceive criticalness as a means to get me to become a peacekeeping, good girl. A role that I’ve worked to let go of, because it doesn't fit me.
So, in the not too distant past, when someone would make what I felt was a critical comment I’ve done one of two things. I've either shrunk or I gotten pissed off to the point of shutting down.
I’m not going to lie, as much work as I’ve done around critical comments, I still fricking dislike them with a passion because they still hurt. Not to mention, they're a great way to shut down the connection.
BUT here’s something I’ve come to realize...
I can’t control what another person says or how they say it but I do have choices when it comes to being on the receiving end of critical comments. I also have choices when it comes to being on the giving end, particularly as it relates to my critical comments of me.
CHOICES AND OPTIONS FOR TAKING THE BITE OUT OF CRITICAL COMMENTS
(Disclaimer: IF the following suggestions don’t feel like they’d work for you, please DO NOT use them.)
During one of my morning journaling sessions, this little nugget came bubbling up to the surface. Critical comments are a demonstration of “false superiority” which often comes from a place of feeling insecure or “not good enough”. When I’m on the receiving end of a critical comment I can remind myself of this. This helps me to remember that I don’t have to shrink and I definitely don’t have to conform.
I can imagine myself in a cool, iridescent bubble. Outside of that bubble stand two big, burly bouncers. I can imagine them saying to the person who’s being critical, “Sorry...your energetic “outfit” is just not on our energetic dress code. NEXT person in line!” This one makes me chuckle! And laughing helps me to lighten the heaviness that comes with critical comments.
Oh, and if I’m the one handing out the critical comments I can remind myself of how unbecoming I find them to be and make it a point to stop and apologize. If I’m criticizing myself I can do the very same. Just stop.
I can also tell the person being critical that what they’re saying isn’t cool and that I’m pausing the conversation for a moment. Then I can take a deep breath and remind myself that I do not need to buy into whatever critical thing that person is saying.
At the end of the day, it helps to remind myself that I’m not here to conform. I’m here to be me, unapologetically and so someone’s critical comment is theirs to own. It’s not mine to take on or do anything with.
HOW DO YOU WANT TO TAKE THE BITE OUT OF CRITICAL COMMENTS?
So, my friends, I turn it over to you, the next time you find yourself being criticized what will you experiment with to avoid the bite marks?
Will you use one of the suggestions above? Mash a few together? Or try something completely different? The choice is yours!
Just remember that with choice always comes power. And that you, my friends, are far stronger and more powerful than any critical comment or the bite it has.
As always, I’d love to hear from you! Share what you’ve done to avoid the bite or what you’re going to experiment with.
Until next time, I’m sending you lots of peace, love, and light.
“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” ~Ernest Hemingway
Recently I was invited to listen to a recorded presentation about humility, and it literally rocked my world.
As I listened intently, the words “complete and whole” popped into my head. And then came the light bulb moment: “Yes!” I thought. “When one feels whole and complete, they’re more humble.”
As the presenter talked about the “look at me” culture of selfies and social media I felt my toes begin to curl and my stomach tighten. (Read On)
"What's wrong with me? Why can't I stop having negative thoughts?"
I used to ask myself those very questions. I couldn't understand why, regardless of all the books I read, all the things I tried, I was still having negative thoughts.
There must have been something wrong with my brain. Or maybe my negative thoughts were an indicator that I just wasn't as nice a person as I thought I was.
If what I just shared has you nodding in agreement, there are just a few things I want you to know. Let's start with the most important...
There's absolutely nothing wrong with you and you're still a nice person even if you have negative thoughts.
Our brains are wired to have them, believe it or not...and we have our prehistoric ancestors to thank.
That, however, doesn't mean that we can't learn how to manage them. I've spent A LOT of time learning how to manage mine and I liked to share what I've learned.
So, while we may never be void of our negative thoughts, we don't have to buy into them. Nope! We don't have to entertain them and allow them to ruin our mood or weigh us down.
With that said, I'd like to offer these three VERY simple "tricks" to try. (By the way, these are things I use interchangeably on a regular basis and I've found that they really work!)
Give these a whirl and let me know what you think! I'd love to hear from you.
And before I sign off, I'd like to share the following quote from Matt Haig...
“The key to happiness - or that even more desired thing, calmness - lies not in always thinking happy thoughts. No. That is impossible. No mind on earth with any kind of intelligence could spend a lifetime enjoying only happy thoughts. They key is in accepting your thoughts, all of them, even the bad ones. Accept thoughts, but don't become them. Understand, for instance, that having a sad thought, even having a continual succession of sad thoughts, is not the same as being a sad person.”
Until next time., I'm sending you lots of....
I recently heard a question that made my head spin around, "What if you had 15 seconds to shine, how brightly would you shine?" My first response was, "I'd shine so bright you'd be able to see my shine from outer space."
WHOA cool! I wasn't really expecting that response. (That's what happens when I allow my gut to respond instead of my head. )
But then I asked myself this question, "Why do I want to shine that brightly?"
Well, it's not because I want all eyes on me. I've never been "a look at me" kinda gal. My shining is all about showing up in positive ways. It's about what I share that helps others to shine. My shining is all about shining a light so bright that others see their own epic-ness. Their own magnificence.
Which, of course, reminds me of one my favorite quotes by Marianne Williamson...
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Truth be told, I light up like a Christmas tree when I'm able to share something that supports another person to shine, whether it's a question, a mindset hack, or a story. I think that if every single one of us made it a point to shine in whatever way we felt like shining, our world would be a much brighter place. And while that may sound idealistic to some, what would it hurt if we tried?
HOW BRIGHT IS YOUR SHINE?
Now it's your turn!
At the end of the day, we're all truly responsible for how brightly we shine! Why not shine as bright as you possibly can?!
Until next time, I'm sending you lots of…
P.S. Want some fun mindset hacks to help amp up your shine? Be sure to join me on Instagram OR sign up for my newsletter to get some "shine" in your inbox.
Have you ever felt disliked by someone? Or have you ever worried about whether you were liked/disliked?
Either way, it sucks to feel like you're not liked.
As human beings we have a need to belong, to feel accepted, to be loved/liked, and to be a part of a tribe. So, when someone in our world doesn't like us or we perceive that they don't, it can do some of the following things…
- Make us question ourselves.
- Create tension and discomfort.
- Cause us to try and be someone we aren't in order to be liked.
- Lead to comparison and judging (of ourselves and/or the other person).
But here's the deal, we can get to a place where we're OK with being disliked by someone else.
IT HAPPENS TO ALL OF US
First, it's important to know that you're not alone. We've all probably experienced another person's dislike or perceived dislike so here's something to keep in mind…
It’s not you. I promise. The fact that someone may dislike you really has nothing to do with you. It has everything to do with them and whatever is going on inside of them. (Be it insecurities, negative self-perception, pain, etc.)
Regardless, I know that the logic doesn't make it feel any better. I get it. Trust me.
I've got someone in my life who doesn't like me. Yes, I admit that that may be my perception, but I can say based on their behavior it's a pretty safe perception. Unlike a casual acquaintance or a work colleague, I can't just completely disconnect from this person because they're family.
Sadly in the past, I'd fallen prey to twisting myself into a pretzel to try and get this person to like me. No amount of twisting and contorting changed their behavior towards me. I questioned myself a lot, wondering what I did and why I wasn't likable. Until one day it hit me like a ton of bricks…
This person and I have NOTHING in common. NOTHING. And in all honesty, if they weren't a part of my family I wouldn't even be friends with them. And that's when I made the commitment to myself to do the following…
HOW #1: I think Scott Stratten said it best, “Don't try to win over the haters; you are not a jackass whisperer.” This little quote has also helped me weather the "dislike" storm a time or two. Not to mention, it makes me chuckle…and chuckling creates positive energy; the energy that combats the negative feelings dislike creates.
HOW #2: Know that there is no such thing as rejection. Nope. If someone dislikes you that's the Universe's (God, Buddha, Your Higher Power, etc.) way of protecting you from someone that isn't a good fit for you. That way you have the space and the energy for someone who is.
HOW #3: Ask yourself this question….
"What are the benefits of this person not liking me?"
And then begin listing all the benefits. For example…more space and time for people who do like you, less negativity to deal with, no more criticism, don't have to deal with spiteful behavior, etc.
Be sure to remember the benefits. Use them as a reminder of just how OK it is that this person doesn't like you!
HOW #4: Take deep breathes and the higher road. When you have to be around a person who dislikes you, be sure to take some deep breathes. Deep breathing changes the chemicals in your brain and helps to create calm. When you're calm, you're more equipped to take the higher road.
HOW #5: I AM ________________
Some of the most powerful words come after "I am". Instead of feeling disliked how do you want to feel? Make a list.
Then when you're feeling the dislike you can use your powerful "I AM" statement to help you disconnect from those negative feelings. For example, "I am an amazing friend." "I am loved." "I am totally likable." "I am fun to be around.", etc…whatever resonates most with you.
What other "HOWS" do you want to add to this list? The more options you have to choose from, the better!
YOU'VE GOT THIS
So, the next time you feel the dislike or you're worried that someone dislikes you, just remember….you've got this! Another person's dislike has nothing on you! And be sure to use some of the "HOWS" to support you in being OK with being disliked.
Until next time, I'm sending you much…
"An aha moment is a remembering of what you already knew articulated in a way to resonant with your own truth." - Oprah Winfrey
I love those lightbulb (aha) moments when something just "clicks".
I've had a few lately…some based on what I've heard or read and others just from my own process of reflection (journaling). But what good is an aha moment if it's kept in the "dark" (a.k.a. not put to good use)?
And to be totally transparent, I really hope the following creates a chain reaction of lightbulb moments for you. If not, I hope they at least provide some tools that you can put to good use.
THE 5 LIGHTBULB MOMENTS
Lightbulb Moment #1: Self-Worth fluctuates & you can't see someone else's if you can't see your own
A little backstory: I found this really cool app for meditating called Insight Timer. What I love about this app is not just the great meditations available (15,000+), but the community element.
The other day after I was done meditating I received a message from a fellow meditator and it said...
Not only did I love the quote, but it inspired an entire journal entry around self-worth which set off a huge lightbulb. Here are just a few of the highlights from that entry…
What does it stand for?
Lightbulb Moment #2: Fear or love; I get to choose.
“There are only two emotions: love and fear. All positive emotions come from love, all negative emotions from fear. From love flows happiness, contentment, peace, and joy. From fear comes anger, hate, anxiety and guilt. It's true that there are only two primary emotions, love and fear. But it's more accurate to say that there is only love or fear, for we cannot feel these two emotions together, at exactly the same time. They're opposites. If we're in fear, we are not in a place of love. When we're in a place of love, we cannot be in a place of fear.”
― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
Whether we agree or disagree with this quote one thing is for sure, we are always in a place of choice. So, the next time I'm feeling crappy, negative, low, etc. I have the following questions to pull out of my bag of choice tricks.
What do I want to feel instead of this __________ feeling?
What do I choose to do right now that'll help me feel the way I want to feel?
Lightbulb Moment #3: Nothing is guaranteed.
I realized something about myself and guarantees; guarantees = safety and security.
If I'm busy looking for those guarantees I'm missing out on what's possible….because…wait for it…
I'm trying to control the outcome. Which sucks all the fun and cool potentials out of a project, a relationship, or a day.
If safety and security are what I’m craving, all I need to do is take a good look around and remind myself of the things that help me to feel safe and secure. Then I just need to step back and engage my faith. Knowing and believing that what is meant to be in my day, my relationships, projects, etc. will be… and in a way that is for my highest good.
All of which reminds me of a Woody Allen quote that my own coach shared with me once, "If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans."
Lightbulb Moment #4: Each moment is a gift.
This little gem has released a shit-ton of pressure. Moments are bite-sized and manageable. The present moment is made up of moments. I like moments and I like the fact that I get to choose what to do in every given moment. Like right now, I'm choosing to share with you. And in the next moment, I may choose something else.
Each moment truly is an amazing gift given to do whatever I please with.
Extra benefit: for those moments when things go awry, I like the fact that I can remind myself that this awry situation is a momentary thing that can change with the next moment.
Lightbulb Moment #5: The three things we need each day.
This little lightbulb is courtesy of Marie Forleo and her guest Dr. Rick Hanson, author of Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom
There are three things we need each day which goes with the three structures in our brain…
Relatedness/Connection to ourselves and others.
(Side note: when this last need is met, it actually meets the other two as well.)
Dr. Hanson suggested that in order to fulfill these needs, it helps to experience something good each day. And in doing so we can then turn that positive state we're experiencing into a trait (or new neural pathway) by:
ARE YOUR LIGHTBULBS FLASHING?
Dear Soul, I want to thank you for reading to this point. You have no idea how much I appreciate you taking the time to do so. Now it's your turn…
Which one of these moments are you wanting to experiment with? AND MOST IMPORTANTLY…
What are some of the lightbulb moments you've had in your life that got you totally jazzed?
Until next time, I'm sending you much…
I remember being asked once, "If you had the chance to have dinner with anyone, who would you choose?" My response, Maya Angelou.
Maya Angelou's grace, humility, work in the world, and her words have been a source of inspiration. And since I can't sit across from her and pick her lovely brain, I love to read her quotes!
She has hundreds but the following nine are epic-producing!
"Not everything you do is going to be a masterpiece, but you get out there and you try and sometimes it really happens. The other times you’re just stretching your soul."
Many years ago my mentor coach sent me a card with this quote on the outside. That card hangs on the wall of my office where I can see it every day. It reminds me it's OK if some of my work in the world falls flat.
Sometimes there's nothing more epic than stretching the soul by creating something that falls a bit flat. It's not the flat that's the soul stretching part ...it's what we learn from putting ourselves out there and trying something on for size...now that's the stretch!
What did you learn the last time you stretched your soul?
"When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time."
So true! Even when a person is "showing" me a side of themselves they think I want to see, my gut instincts are always on point. Anytime I've ignored or missed what my instincts have tried to tell me I've been sorry. Valuable lesson learned. Now not only do I pay attention to what someone is showing me about themselves, but I pay close attention to what my instincts are telling me.
How do you tell when someone is being their most authentic selves?
"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you."
Stories connect us. They make us feel understood and seen. And in telling them, we not only create connection, but we make it OK for others to tell their stories.
What's your story and how willing are you to share it?
"If you are always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be."
Welcome to my life growing up. A life of trying hard to be "normal" so that I would fit in. In doing so, not only did I deny the qualities and characteristics that made me, me, but I made myself feel even more "abnormal".
I am a firm believer that we were all born to be epic (by our own definition). Not some cookie cutter version based on someone else's definition of normal.
What makes you amazing?
"I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
Nope. Feelings are super important. They are a guide. They have resonance. They have the potential to create deep connections! So, my friend, I have to ask, how do you want people to feel in your presence?
"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 you."
When I first started coaching in 2005, money somehow became my goal. It didn't start out that way, but as a single mom, trying hard to make ends meet it sadly ended up that way for a short time period.
I learned rather quickly that having money as a goal only created a desperate vibe. And that desperate vibe not only repelled people, but made me forget why I became a coach in the first place.
I love what I do and it's my goal to keep loving it. Which means making my work in the world about being of service.. helping others to own their epic-ness so that the life they live and the work they do is also epic.
What do you love doing?
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”
YES! YES! YES! This, to me, is the definition of epic living.
What is your definition of epic living?
"When you know you are of worth, you don’t have to raise your voice, you don’t have to become rude, you don’t have to become vulgar; you just are. And you are like the sky is, as the air is, the same way water is wet. It doesn’t have to protest."
The more self-awareness we create, the more we see and feel our self-worth.
Do you know your worth? If you don't, please don't stop trying to figure it out. The world needs you and all your worthy splendor.
"Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option."
We teach people how to treat us based on what we will and won't allow…and most importantly, by how we show up.
I used to show up as an option, putting other people's well-being ahead of my own.
Now (as a recovering co-dependent) I understand that the only person's well-being I can be responsible for is my own. Which means that I'm not showing up as an option any more, because I'm not treating myself like one.
How do you treat you; as an option or a priority?
I hope these nine epic quotes have inspired you to stand in your own epic-ness!. At the end of the day, we were all meant to live and work from that epic sweet spot.
Until next time, I wish you much ...
"But enough about me, let’s talk about you. What do you think of me?"
- CC Bloom, Beaches
That is one of the all time classic lines from the movie "Beaches" starring Bette Midler. It's a line I can relate to and I'm super glad about that. (Keep reading to find out why.)
But first let me ask you…
Have you ever had someone in your life who redirects the conversation to themselves, no matter what the topic?
Or someone that is so super self-focused that they don’t consider others’ feelings or thoughts?
Or someone who is always "one-upping" you?
If you answered, "yes" then you've experienced the "Look At Me" syndrome. (OK, so that's not a real syndrome, as I'm sure you already knew, but it should be.)
And when it comes to this syndrome, it's important to recognize not just the syndrome itself, but the symptoms. Symptoms like…
Growing up with a CC Bloom and having a few in my life now, I've come to realize one thing…
It's not the CC Blooms of the world that are the problem. It's how I allow them to make me feel and how I deal with them that is.
RECENT INFECTION WITH THE "LOOK AT ME" SYNDROME
Just recently I was at a function when I bumped into a CC Bloom. Normally this particular CC Bloom doesn't bother me, but I was tired and low in energy so this time my buttons got pushed in a major way. As a result I became curt with the person and even judge-y
I'm not going to make excuses or even give myself a pass. My reaction sucked. To be curt and judge-y…a) that's not who I am at my core and b) that's not who I want to be. I was WAAAAYYYYY out of integrity with myself. And that's a BIG HUGE "No bueno!"
This is why I'm super glad I can relate to the line from Beaches…because of my own experiences (especially the one I just shared) I've come up with some strategies for inoculating myself. Strategies that I'd love to share with you.
But please remember, if anything I'm about to offer doesn't sound doable to you, don't force it to work. Feel free to tweak or disregard instead.
WAYS TO INOCULATE
Don't take anything personally. If you have ever read the book The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book) by Don Miguel Ruiz you'll be familiar with this strategy. I'm not going to lie, this strategy can be difficult, but it's one of the best strategies ever.
The CC Blooms in our lives aren't doing or saying things because of us. They're doing or saying things because of how they feel about themselves. Maybe they're feeling insecure or not good enough and in need of validation. (Hence the "look at me"!)
If we make their inadequate feelings all about us, then we're just taking on those feelings. Or as Don Miguel says, we're eating their emotional garbage and making it our emotional garbage.
So when we're in a situation where we start to feel the pang of any of the symptoms above it helps to remember…it's not personal.
Keep expectations low…low…low…low. Expecting a CC Bloom to stop the "look at me" behavior, particularly if they're not aware of it, is tantamount to expecting a zebra to change its stripes to spots. (No, I'm not saying the person can't change, because they can.)
But here's the thing about expecting others to act in certain ways…we only set ourselves up for disappointment. The bottom line; we don't have control over what other people do. We do, however, have control over what we allow or don't allow, how we respond or react, how we feel, how we act, and our own expectations of ourselves.
When it comes to the CC Blooms in the world, if we lower our expectations by not expecting them to behave any differently…
THE NEXT TIME
At the end of the day, there are always going to be CC Blooms. The next time I encounter one, I'm going to take a deep breath and remember, it's not personal. And then I'm going to think about my own integrity and come from that place instead.
How are you going to deal with CC Blooms in your world? I'd love to hear from you!
I love the holidays. It's a time of celebration. A time for connection. A time for good food that we don't eat all year round. A time to let go of the old and bring in the new.
But I've noticed something; I've noticed that as we near the holiday season people seem to be a little less considerate. Or maybe a little less present which can lead to not noticing that you're waiting for that parking space, or that they just cut you off in line or traffic.
I know this happens during other times of the year, but it seems to be more prevalent during the holidays. And it makes sense for people to go on auto-pilot as they're thinking about what gifts they can afford, or the end of the year quotas and goals, managing the holiday gatherings, and out of town family members. It can all be a bit overwhelming.
I get it. And while I do get it, it doesn't mean that it doesn't drive me a bit nuts when someone pushes in front of me in line, cuts me off in traffic, or is just plain rude.
This year, however, I'm arming myself with something to keep me sane (and rational)…
Yep, you read that right…when it comes to others I'm going to lower my expectations.
(I promise I've not dipped into the egg nog or gotten hit on the head by the family menorah...so please read on.)
It might help if I explain what I mean...
Many years ago I was having issues with a family member who, I felt, was being inconsiderate of my feelings. Regardless of how many times I tried to share how I felt about their treatment, they didn't get it.
To say that I got my knickers in a twist would be the understatement of all understatements. I was fixated on the inconsideration. I wanted to right the wrong-doing. I wanted that person to see it from my perspective. It was all consuming and emotionally draining.
During a coaching session with my coach I went on and on about how ticked off I was. When I finally stopped ranting she said, "Pam, try lowering your expectations of that person, that way you will never be disappointed."
WHAT!? Are you kidding?!
Actually, my response was…"I say this with love, but f*#k off."
That was not what I wanted to hear. I wanted her to commiserate with me. I wanted her to justify my anger. But instead I got "lower your expectations."
It wasn't until a year or so later that I actually got what she meant.
Not to expect anyone to handle things in ways that I would.
Not to expect anyone to be different.
Not to expect anyone to behave in a certain way.
At the end of the day, the only person I can expect these things from is me, because I have control over what I do. Which means, I can set expectations for myself to be kind, considerate, and present. And when others aren't, I can expect that I will choose my response carefully and considerately.
Rather than expecting, I'm teaching people how to treat me based on what I will or won't allow for myself.
Here's the really cool thing about lowering my expectations of others…when I do, not only am I less disappointed, but I'm open to being surprised. Which, I'm not going to lie, is kinda fun.
So that's how I'm going to keep sane this holiday season. How about you? I'd love to hear your strategies for not losing your cool and enjoying your holiday season.
Oh, but if you need some additional strategies, I've got your back. Be sure to check out these blog posts:
"Bye Felicia"; Three Ways To Get Someone Out Of Your Personal Space
Your Not So Ordinary Holiday Stress-Reducing Tip
Tips for a stress-free, peaceful holiday season
Here's to a sane and wonderful holiday season!! Sending you all much love and sparkly, tinsel-adorned light.
Additional Resource To Avoid the Holiday Humbuggery
December's Rut Warrior Membership topic is dedicated to avoiding the humbuggery that many of us feel.
There is a special podcast with tips for making this holiday season a relaxed and bright one. An Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) tapping script for managing the stress. Not to mention, exercises , journal prompts, and an intuitive reading for extra guidance muscle. And I'm super excited, because included is some fun bonus material for humbug busting.
So if you, or anyone you know wants to be humbug free this holiday season, join us!
(You'll also have access to previous months' content, so be sure to check it out!)
Have you ever felt the need to change the way you do things?
Have you experienced those growing pains that are so obvious you just can't ignore them?
I'm raising my hand!
After nearly 14 years in business as a coach, I decided it was time for a major overhaul of what I do, how I do what I do, and who I work with. (Rebranding myself and my business.)
Talk about scary and exciting all at the same time. But here's the thing, I was starting to feel like a plant that had outgrown its pot. No more room to expand my roots.
So clearly it was time for a bigger pot. Seems logical, right? Logical, but still scary and time!
As I was getting ready to leave the smaller pot that had served me well, I reflected. I reflected on some of the lessons (or fertilizer, if we stick with the pot metaphor) that helped me to grow not only professionally, but personally.
Quality over quantity. There are all sorts of messages about the importance of having tons of social media followers, newsletter subscribers, etc. It can all get a little overwhelming.
I don't disagree, being connected to your target market is important. BUT you could have thousands of subscribers and followers that just don't engage with you or your brand. (Which I did.) Making those thousands just numbers on your stats or dashboards. (Which they were.)
It all began to remind me of a high school popularity contest.
Been there, done that, have the tiara and t-shirt. Let me tell you, it had me questioning the relevance of my work in the world…and not in a good way!
Did it suck? Was I putting out stuff that people thought was crap?
No, I was just trying too hard to "please" the masses!
The bottom line…
Anything that doesn't make you feel good about what you do, isn't going to support your growth as a person, leader, business owner, or entrepreneur.
At the end of the day, it is true that quality is far better than quantity. Having quality connections with a smaller group of people has supported me in providing more value to my target market so I can be of greater service.
Winner, winner, chicken dinner!
Stay in my own lane. Want to talk about something that hampers growth and makes you feel like shit as an entrepreneur, business owner or aspiring leader…it's called comparison. When we compare ourselves to someone else what we're really saying is, "I'm not good enough. My work isn't good enough."
Talk about a boldface lie and a major swerve out of your own lane!
In my case, while there are many amazing coaches out in the world that do something similar to what I do, they don't do it in the same way. Wanna know why?
They don't have my heart. They have their own heart.
Staying in my own lane has not only minimized the comparing, but it's also helped me to focus more on my own work and doing it in my own way. And doing that has sparked the production of some pretty cool stuff, stuff that I'm excited about. Who doesn't want to be excited by what they're putting out into the world?
BUT most importantly, staying in my own lane has helped (and continues to help) my business to grow.
The best way to gain exposure is to continue to put work out into the world that you love. Work that is you. Not work that you think others will want. (Are you noticing a theme here?)
As Ryan Holiday shares in his article "Your Work Is The Only Thing That Matters", "An artist’s job is to create masterpieces. Period."(By the way, this is awesome, thought-provoking article! Definitely worth the read!)
That is so true! Whether you're an entrepreneur, aspiring leader, dreamer, writer, coach, or artist…you're job is to work on your masterpiece. Period.
Clients are NOT dollar signs. It is all too easy to get caught up in the bottom line, especially when there are mouths to feed and bills to pay, or your job depends on the sales you make or the number of clients you bring in. It happens to the best of us. Trust me.
There was a time early on in my coaching career when I was desperate for cash. And since desperate is as desperate does, I was putting out a vibe that was just plain gross and repelling.
While knowing my financial landscape has always been important, when it became the focus, the energy shifted from loving what I do to making it about the cash flow. That's no bueno! Talk about a hit to the bottom line.
At the end of the day, my clients are people. People who do not deserve to be looked at as a dollar sign. NEVER EVER!
So now, during the slower months (because business always ebbs and flows), I focus on why I love what I do and how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with some amazing people. Wanna talk about the best fertilizer ever!?!
When you're focusing on what you love and why you're doing it (your vision), you amp up your vibe and positive vibes are magnetic.
Patience is a valuable commodity. Not always the easiest, however. This is something I'm still working on myself. Especially when I'm excited about something that I've just launched.
But here's the deal (and back to the plant analogy) when you plant a seed, you don’t pull the seed out of the ground every day to see if it's sprouting roots. Because you know if you do, you'll prevent it from growing. Instead you water it and fertilize it.
So the key is to be patient. To share your work in a way that’s authentic to you, trusting that the seed you've planted will grow and turn into something totally amazing!
Ready to Outgrow Your Pot?
So there you have it, some of the most powerful fertilizer I've used and will continue to use as I get used to this new pot.
How about you? What helps you to grow your work in the world? What, if anything, is keeping you in a smaller pot?
Take some time to assess and survey the pot you're in, the fertilizer you use, and feel free to share your thoughts, questions, and comments.
About this blog
This is the place where I share my personal journey, insights, ideas, and a-ha moments helping me to mute my own inner critic. It is my hope you find what you need to mute your own.