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 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.
“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 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 often read her quotes.
She has hundreds, but here are my top nine. The nine that remind me, support me, and show me how to be epic in what I do and the life that I live.
"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 that it's OK if some of my work in the world falls flat. That each time I create something, each time I put my heart into something, I'm not only doing what I love, but I'm continuing to grow as a person, as a leader, and as a coach. And nothing supports my epic-ness more than growing and stretching my soul.
What stretches 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 that 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. While I still have some work to do when it comes to telling mine, I'm committed to sharing them. It is my hope in doing so that they help another in not only finding support, but in sharing their own.
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".
(Thankfully a certain astrology reading changed all of that.)
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 is normal any way?
"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."
This quote brings to mind a question; how do you want people to feel in your presence?
I want people to feel supported, cared about, accepted, understood, seen and heard. To accomplish that, it's important for me to listen with an open-mind and to always be curious. Curiosity (to me) opens the door to learning about another person, which equates to seeing them.
"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 14 years ago, money became my goal. It didn't start out that way, but as a single mom, trying hard to make ends meet, it certainly became that way fast.
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 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."
I think this is why one of my core values is authenticity.
Do you know your worth? If you don't, please do not stop trying to figure it out. The world needs you to show up in 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?
There they are...my top 9. I hope they inspire you to stand in your own epic-ness, as much as they inspire me. 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!
Stinking Thinking = any thought that creates a negative emotion. In addition, the things we say to ourselves that are disparaging and self-deprecating.
I've been infected by Stinking Thinking tons of times. And I'd like to say that once dealt with, it never returns, but that would be a boldface lie. We're human, so negative thoughts happen. (PLEASE DO NOT STOP READING…because there's some good news up ahead.)
While we may never be rid of those negative thoughts completely, there are ways to deal with them so that the impact becomes non-existent.
The bottom line when it comes to stinking thinking…it's not the actual thought that is the problem; it's the impact it has.
Impact like the following…
Changing perception. For example, let's say you have a favorite outfit that you always feel good in. And one morning before you go to put on that favorite outfit you have a bout of Stinking Thinking. You put on the outfit and all the sudden it goes from favorite to the give-away pile.
It messes with energy. For me, this is a big one. I could be all smiles on the outside, but if Stinking Thinking is running on a loop in my head, my energy goes way down. So while people may see me smiling, the vibe they get is quite different. And as we all know, it's the vibe/energy we give off that either attracts or repels.
Weakens personal power. And when our personal power is being messed with, we are susceptible to those feelings of "not good enough", less than, etc.
Here's the good news...we can take back control of our thoughts from Stinking Thinking. We can lessen it's power and it's shelf life. There is an antidote. Actually there are several, but I'd like to offer you one of my little secret antidotes….
Yep, this is one of the antidotes I use when Stinking Thinking is infecting my brain.
The next time you find yourself infected with some Stinking Thinking, ask yourself this question…
"What do I choose to believe?" And if that doesn't grab you and you feel you need something a bit stronger try…
"I choose to think something different." OR
"I choose ______ (love, peace, my personal power, whatever word(s) feel empowering to you in the moment)_____ over this thought."
(Many thanks to Gabby Bernstein for this juicy tidbit, which works every time I use it!)
Give Choice a whirl, and do let me know how it works for you!
AND AS A HEAD'S UP: If you're in need of some more antidotes, I'm sharing quite a few as a part of September Rut Warrior Membership Program's podcast, exercises, and intuitive reading. I hope you'll join us because we'll be busting this rut BIG TIME.
Until next time, much love and light to you all…
I truly believe that music is like a box of crayons because it adds color. It can be soft and mellow like the blue crayons or it can be loud and bold like the red ones. It has been my go to forever; to either help me get grounded or to amp me up.
I love, love, love music. As far back as I can remember I was the kid who'd spend time in her room, stereo blasting, jamming out to my favorite tunes. It was my space to recharge and to enjoy a little color.
So for this post I thought I’d share some of my most recent favorites. Ones that add bold color into my world... that inspire, lift me up, and motivate me. I hope they do the same for you.
Just the other day I was asked what some of my favorite quotes are. As a professed quote junkie I have a boat load of them. As a matter of fact, several years ago I compiled some of my favorites into a nifty little ebook. (Which you're welcome to check out here.) But since the publication of that ebook, I've definitely added tons more.
I'd been on a quest for the longest time….a quest for a life void of fear, smallness, struggle, and feelings of "not good enough"(a.k.a shit). A quest that was driven by perception and fueled by comparison. In essence, I'd been on a quest for a happy life.
So I read the books. Listened to the TED talks. Attended webinars. I sought out various gurus who I perceived had the answers or the keys to true happiness.
I believed in those gurus who, with their stories, made me feel that what I was seeking was absolutely possible. To the outside world they seemed to have found that road to a happy life; one void of fear, smallness, struggle, and feelings of "not good enough" (or shit).
An invitation to seeing & owning your greatness
Many years ago I was asked the question, “How do you define greatness?”
I used to believe that in order to experience greatness you had to conquer something major, like climbing Mount Kilimanjaro or having a message that reaches millions upon millions of people. While I don’t think my definition has changed much over the years, my perception of “major” in relation to greatness has.
To me greatness is…
When we are our most authentic selves.
When we are able to share from that scary, vulnerable place that connects us with another human being.
When we have the courage to follow our dreams.
When we discover our why…those things that make us tick, and then
when we use our why so that what we do has more impact and meaning.
When we own our greatness and truly step into it without hesitation.
Greatness is not always in what we do, but it is always in who we are.
And we spend a lot of time focusing on what keeps us from greatness rather then focusing on what already makes us great.
We don’t claim it. We don’t own it. We don’t live it nearly as much as we could. Instead we allow self-deprecating comments to taint our view. We allow other people’s opinions to overshadow our own. We let limiting beliefs, like the one that says acknowledging our greatness is bigheaded, to run roughshod.
CLAIM IT, OWN IT, LIVE IT
As I’m writing this, I’m reminded of Marianne Williamson’s quote…
“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.”
YES! YES! YES!! A thousand times yes! That’s what I’m talking about.
My friends, this is your invitation… it is time to claim it, own it, and live it! We don’t have a moment to waste. The world needs us to step up and share our greatness.
If you’re wondering how or feeling scared as hell, trust me I get it and I’ve got you.
Here are a few tips that help. Feel free to pick and choose or to share some of your own.
Identify/Define it: This where the rubber meets the road when we are able to clearly identify or define greatness for ourselves. Knowing what it feels or looks like supports us in being great on our own terms, not someone else’s.
Capture it: Making note of the things we do each day fortifies that greatness. It cements it into our reality so we are truly living it every day. Grab a pen and a journal and capture all that greatness.
Share it: Share it with others by doing those things that make you feel great and model the crap out of that greatness. As Marianne said in her quote, “as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” Oh, and here’s some food for thought… it’s not our business what other people think of us when we are putting our greatness out there. We have no control over that any way.
Quiet it: Not the greatness, but the limiting beliefs and self-deprecating comments. Quiet those suckers in the very moment when they’re trying to steal your greatness and its thunder. Change the words being said. Express a little gratitude. Do something that switches off the negative message.
Lets cause a ripple effect of greatness. Starting TODAY! We got this!! Because here’s the real deal, when we do, we are not only serving as role models for others, we are taking charge of our own destiny. We are creating amazing experiences and opportunities. We are playing full out. We are truly living a life and doing work in this world that we love.
Are you going to accept the invitation?
Until next time, I’m not only sending you wishes of greatness, but much love and light…
If you dabble with, vibe on, or use Numerology you probably already knew that 2016 was a nine year (2+0+1+6 = 9). In Numerology the number 9 stands for completions, finishing what we start, and a few other cool things. Which makes a lot of sense since 2017 is, you guessed it, a one year (2+0+1+7 = 10 1+0 = 1). The number 1 stands for new beginnings, fresh starts, new energy, and change.
I’m not going to lie; I’m so over 2016 and ready for some new awesome beginnings and new energy. Having said that, I know that in order for my new beginnings to have a fair chance of making it, I have to make some space for them.
So during the month of December I spent time taking inventory of the key areas of my life.
What loose ends needed tying up?
What am/was I ready to let go of?
What, if anything, did I start that I needed to complete?
While there were no loose ends or projects left unfinished, there were a few things that I needed and wanted to let go of. Things that I didn’t want to take with me into this New Year of new beginnings.
So like Santa, I made my list and checked it twice. On that list were the following things that I’ve agreed to dump in the 2016 garbage bin:
Worry when it comes to money. I’ve danced with worry more than a few times during 2016. It was only when I sat out of the dance that all my financial needs were met. That got my attention and so I’ve made the commitment that when worry taps me on the shoulder for a dance, I’ll graciously decline. I’ll remind myself that worry does nothing except give me wrinkles and gray hair. I’ll also remind myself that it’s not nearly as strong as my belief that the Universe is always conspiring for me and not against me.
Judgment of myself and talking about others. Holy crap, as someone who prides herself on being a compassionate, loving person it’s embarrassing to admit that I judged myself rather harshly this past year and I spent some time talking about others… meaning I was judging them too. Not cool!! This behavior has been kicked to the curb. Judgment is my sign of insecurity and so if I feel that insecurity creep in, I’m going to check in and find out why. I’m also going to keep my mouth shut. Instead, I’m going to find something that lifts me up, energizes me, and makes me feel good. I’m going to focus on my strengths and what makes me, me…leaving behind the comparisons (a.k.a judgment).
Playing small. Want to talk about my modus operandi…this has been a big one for me, particularly when it comes to my work in the world. I’ve rested on my laurels by not tapping into my fullest potential. I’ve sat in the shadows and haven’t called too much attention to what I do. How frickin’ sad!!
Make no mistake I love what I do and I’m proud of my work in the world…so that playing small crap has to go. Buh-Bye. In the infamous words of Diana Ross, and I apologize in advance for the earworm…
“I'm coming out
I want the world to know
Got to let it show”
Yep, the world is going to see more of me in 2017. More articles published on other sites and publications. More FB Live broadcasts. Volunteer work. The list continues so do stay tuned.
Motherhood guilt. I have spent the last four years, I’m not kidding, the last four years swimming in guilt until my fingers are pruney. I’ve felt guilty over my co-dependent, helicopter mom ways and then felt guilty for breaking those patterns so abruptly. Which in hindsight has been absolutely necessary in order to create healthier relationships.
My son is now 22 years old and doing his thing. And gratefully I’ve given up the helicopter and co-dependent gig, but not the guilt side effects.
So if that guilt appears I’m going to remind myself of something Brené Brown once said in a TED Talk, “Guilt: I'm sorry. I made a mistake.” All parents make mistakes when it comes to their children. And it would be a huge mistake to hold on to that guilt … I can’t change the past, I can only influence the present moment by forgiving myself.
Since I’m not a silly woman, I know that just saying “Adios” to those things doesn’t mean they’ll magically disappear. It’s going to take conscious action on my part (which I’ve already started).
In taking that conscious action, I’ve begun to create the space for some pretty cool new beginnings…like expanding my reach, creating a movement (more to come on that), and deepening my connection to myself, my spiritual team, my family, as well as finding my tribe.
2017 I am ready for you… You have a clean slate so let’s get to gettin’!
What are you leaving behind as you enter 2017? If you’re not sure, I invite you to take inventory of the key areas of your life with these two questions in mind:
How awesome does this area of my life feel right now on a scale of 1-10? (1 = not so awesome and 10 = totally awesome!)
What’s one thing that’s keeping this area of my life from being as close to a 10 as possible?
With your answer to the second question in hand, make a commitment to take some conscious actions to let go of whatever is blocking the awesome.
And once you begin creating space for some new awesomeness, here’s another question you can use…
What’s one thing I want to add (that’s missing) in order to increase the awesomeness?
My friends, I wish you a Happy 2017! May it be a year that is filled with some awesome new beginnings.
Until next time, I’m sending much love and light to you…
What did we do without cell phones, smart phones, iPads, tablets, and the like?
Don’t get me wrong I love my gadgetry, I truly do. It helps me to stay and feel connected to the pulse and most importantly to others. But I can recall a time when the buzz of it all became extremely consuming.
I used to check and answer emails and texts well after business hours and on weekends. All because I felt that I’d lose business, clients would think I was ignoring them, and friends would feel slighted.
I was “on” and connected 24/7…24/7, without realizing the toll it was taking on my life and my business. I actually used to joke that my own family didn’t recognize me unless they saw the back of my head. Now I realize just how sad that was.
All that pushing to stay connected cost me a lot. It cost me my own mental well being, as well as valuable time with family and friends. In turn, I started to see my productivity wane, my relationships suffer, and my self-deprecating moments become amplified. (When we’re running on fumes we’re extremely susceptible to our fears, negative thoughts, and our own internal itty, bitty shitty committee.)
If you had mentioned self-care to me, I would have scoffed and told you that I was just fine. I didn’t need to refuel. I was taking time for me… if taking a glass of wine or vodka on the rocks out to the hot tub every night counted. (Another telltale sign that I was in need of some serious refuel.)
The bottom line, I was heading for disaster and potentially becoming an alcoholic. And all because I felt I needed to be "on" for everyone and everything!
Things are much different for me now. While I still have my moments of jumping out of bed and diving straight into work, I’ve gotten much better about my own self-care.
Weekends are for family and my own down time. When I’m done with work in the evening, I am done. Mornings start off with my own morning ritual. Relaxation and refueling is the name of my game and do you know what I’ve noticed?
I’m a much better person for it. Fear, self-deprecation and negative thoughts don’t have as much space to creep in as they once did. I’m a better coach & intuitive, because I’m not running on fumes. No one has complained that they feel ignored. Business has not been lost. And actually, I have more energy so I can give others the time and attention they deserve.
ENOUGH ABOUT ME, LETS TALK ABOUT YOU
If you’re feeling…
… like you have to be there for everyone,
… that you need to stay busy in order to be successful,
… guilty or selfish for taking time for you,
… worried that others will think you are lazy, OR
… concerned that you don’t have enough time in your day for self care…
Please know that you’re not alone, I get it! Your feelings are 100% valid!
Having said that, I’d like to invite you to think about something; how easy is it for you to give something you don’t have?
If you take away anything from this post, I hope it’s this…
Self-care is not selfish. It’s actually self-less. Selfish is doing something that would negatively impact another. Self-less is doing something that benefits you and in turn benefits another…to be able to give from a full tank.
There is a reason that when you’re on an airplane they instruct you to put on your oxygen mask first should there be a change in cabin pressure. If you can’t breathe, you can’t help someone else breathe. It’s just that simple.
So I have to ask, how full is your own tank right now?
If it’s feeling a bit on the empty side, then trust me when I tell you the very best thing you can do is refuel in order to avoid running on fumes. I’m not kidding when I tell you that self-care can save your life, your family, and your productivity.
Need more proof? Feel free to have a read;
A study from the UK.
The benefits of mindfulness
If you’re finding yourself short on self-care ideas, not to worry. Here are a few ideas that will surely re-fill your tank, some of which only require 10 minutes.
45 Simple Self-Care Practices for a Healthy Mind, Body, and Soul
Seven Types of Self-Care Activities for Coping with Stress
Pinterest: Self-Care Activities
A CHALLENGE – HOW GAME ARE YOU?
I want to invite you to a little challenge; for the next 21 days practice self-care in a way that works for you. If you need a little extra something, feel free to sign up for the 21-Day Challenge in the green banner at the top of the page. It’s completely free!
I also invite you to post in the comment section what you will be doing over the next 21 days in honor of your own self-care. Together lets share ideas, as well as create an accountability team!
Until next time, enjoy refueling! I’m sending you much love and light…
Do you ever second-guess your choices?
When it comes to choice, do you ever feel powerless?
If you answered, “yes” to both or either question, please know you’re not alone!
I’ve second-guessed many of my choices only to realize that if I went with my gut and used my values as a guide, the second-guessing would have been non-existent.
I’ve caught myself saying, “I have no choice”. Telling myself that big lie led to feeling powerless and resentful. Not cool!
And you know what’s funny? Second-guessing and being powerless are choices.
I believe in the power of choice. But I gotta tell ya, after one of my morning rituals I’m looking at choice through a different lens.
A POWERFUL DOWNLOAD
“Choose your words, your actions and your direction wisely… for you are always in choice.” That was one of the messages I received during my morning intuitive reading.
We are always in choice, particularly when it comes to what we do or what we say. BUT...
What I’ve come to realize, while we DO always have choice, I’ve missed the distinction between choices for the greater good (including my own) and choices that can create a powerlessness (or a mess). I’ve not intentionally missed this; I just didn’t recognize its importance until I received the following during my reading…
“Choice can move mountains and it can cause wars. While you stand in choice, you must also be responsible for the choices you make.”
Yes! The choices we make can have a huge, positive impact! For example, making the choice to stop self-deprecation, making the choice to drink more water, or making the choice to not gossip.
On the flip side the choices we make can also create a mess. But here’s something to think about, that mess diminishes when we take responsibility for the choices we make. When we can say, “I’m sorry, my mistake.”
Any time I’ve stopped the blame game, the excuses, and actually taken responsibility for a choice I’ve made that went South, it’s been quite empowering and liberating. The worry and the guilt dissipated instead of hung around like an unwanted guest at a cocktail party.
“The wrong choice is the choice made for self-centered reasons and nothing more.”
For example, choices “made to spite another” or get back at someone for something they did or said. These are usually the choices we make out of anger, as a reaction. I’ve been guilty of this, or as my grandmother would say, “cutting off my nose to spite my face.” It’s in the moments of anger when the best choice we can make is to take a pause. To give ourselves the time we need to cool off and come at things from a more neutral place.
I know that any choices I've made out of anger have never turned out well. It usually comes down to me saying something that I later regret and creates more of a mess for me to clean up after the fact.
“We must consider our choices carefully. The choice to do nothing can be a good choice in the moment. However, if another person is in harm’s way” (and we have the power to do something), choosing to do nothing is a detriment.
There are times when choosing to do nothing has been the best choice for me. For example, choosing not to respond to someone’s insensitive comment has kept me out of a conversation that could have gotten messy. Choosing to do nothing on a Sunday afternoon instead of filling it full of activities has saved my energy when it’s been depleted.
That choosing to do nothing is quite different to “turning a blind eye” when someone is in harm’s way. I invite you to watch this short video to see what I mean.
HOW TO STOP SECOND-GUESSING & AVOID POWERLESSNESS
THE POWER OF CHOICE
When we make choices with good intentions as the backdrop, we give ourselves…
So much better than second-guessing or powerless, don’t you think?
As always, I welcome your thoughts, questions, and insights.
What makes you great at making choices?
Where do you struggle the most?
Here’s to the power of choice. Until next time, I'm sending you all much love & light...
Just recently I was looking for some information on the Internet when I came across an article about the morning rituals of successful people. That got me thinking about my own morning ritual.
From my 20s to my mid 40s (so not that long ago) I’d jump out of bed and dive head first into work. Email was downloading and the calendar was being reviewed before my eyes were even fully open and focused. Coffee was set on a timer the night before so by the time the first email was responded to, I had already downed a cup.
I never gave much thought to how I started my day. Nor did I think about the impact that it was having on me, my brain, my business, my relationships, and the rest of the day.
That was my ritual and I was sticking to it.
I don’t know if it’s because I’m mellowing as I get nearer to 50, but I do know that I can’t start my day like that anymore. A frenetic start leads to frenetic energy throughout the day. Which is not cool for me. In order to be a good listener, supporter, observer, and intuitive it has become imperative that I start my day in a much gentler way.
Today, when the alarm goes off rather than jump out of bed with my hair on fire, I linger for a few minutes. That is when I say a little grounding and protection prayer. I then go straight to my meditation area with my journal in hand. I ask my spiritual team for guidance for the day by doing an intuitive reading & guided writing. Next I journal all the things I am grateful for in that moment. At the end of my journaling I always say or write, “Something incredible is going to happen to me today and I can’t wait to find out.” (Thank you, Pam Grout for the idea.)
This is a much better way for me to start my day and I’ve noticed the difference. I’m more present and grounded than I was during my frenetic start days. My attitude is much more upbeat and positive. I am more creative, not to mention productive. What’s even better, I’m more connected to my intuitive side, which helps me to be a better coach and intuitive.
But don’t just take it from me. Here are some additional articles for your reading pleasure:
How To Do Morning Rituals and Do It Right
What Everyone Can Learn from Richard Branson’s Morning Routine
Being of curious mind, I’m wondering how everyone else starts their day. Do you ease in gently or do jump in with both feet and hit the ground running? Please do share your morning rituals, because it’s always so much fun to learn from others.
Until next time, I’m sending you much love and light…
As I was doing some general “housekeeping” on my computer I came across this story sent to me years ago. All I can say is, “Wow!!” I needed this little reminder!
It's a bit long, but well worth the read.
The Old Telephone (Author Unknown)
When I was quite young, my father had one of the first telephones in our neighborhood. I remember the polished, old case fastened to the wall. The shiny receiver hung on the side of the box. I was too little to reach the telephone, but used to listen with fascination when my mother talked into it.
Then I discovered that somewhere inside the wonderful device lived an amazing person. Her name was "Information Please" and there was nothing she did not know. Information Please could supply anyone's number and the correct time.
My personal experience with the genie-in-a-box came one day while my mother was visiting a neighbor. Amusing myself at the tool bench in the basement, I whacked my finger with a hammer, the pain was terrible, but there seemed no point in crying because there was no one home to give sympathy.
I walked around the house sucking my throbbing finger, finally arriving at the stairway. The telephone! Quickly, I ran for the footstool in the parlor and dragged it to the landing. Climbing up, I unhooked the receiver in the parlor and held it to my ear. "Information, please" I said into the mouthpiece just above my head.
A click or two and a small clear voice spoke into my ear.
"I hurt my finger..." I wailed into the phone, the tears came readily enough now that I had an audience.
"Isn't your mother home?" came the question.
"Nobody's home but me," I blubbered.
"Are you bleeding?" the voice asked.
"No," I replied. "I hit my finger with the hammer and it hurts."
"Can you open the icebox?" she asked.
I said I could.
"Then chip off a little bit of ice and hold it to your finger," said the voice.
After that, I called "Information Please" for everything. I asked her for help with my geography, and she told me where Philadelphia was. She helped me with my math. She told me my pet chipmunk that I had caught in the park just the day before, would eat fruit and nuts.
Then, there was the time Petey, our pet canary, died. I called, “Information Please," and told her the sad story. She listened, and then said things grown-ups say to soothe a child. But I was not consoled. I asked her, "Why is it that birds should sing so beautifully and bring joy to all families, only to end up as a heap of feathers on the bottom of a cage?"
She must have sensed my deep concern, for she said quietly, "Paul - always remember that there are other worlds to sing in."
Somehow I felt better.
Another day I was on the telephone, "Information Please." "Information," said in the now familiar voice. "How do I spell fix?" I asked.
All this took place in a small town in the Pacific Northwest. When I was nine years old, we moved across the country to Boston. I missed my friend very much. "Information Please" belonged in that old wooden box back home and I somehow never thought of trying the shiny new phone that sat on the table in the hall. As I grew into my teens, the memories of those childhood conversations never really left me.
Often, in moments of doubt and perplexity I would recall the serene sense of security I had then. I appreciated now how patient, understanding, and kind she was to have spent her time on a little boy.
A few years later, on my way west to college, my plane put down in Seattle. I had about a half-hour or so between planes. I spent 15 minutes or so on the phone with my sister, who lived there now. Then without thinking what I was doing, I dialed my hometown operator and said "Information Please."
Miraculously, I heard the small, clear voice I knew so well.
I hadn't planned this, but I heard myself saying, "Could you please tell me how to spell fix?"
There was a long pause. Then came the soft spoken answer, "I guess your finger must have healed by now."
I laughed, "So it's really you," I said. "I wonder if you have any idea how much you meant to me during that time?"
I wonder," she said, "if you know how much your call meant to me. I never had any children and I used to look forward to your calls."
I told her how often I had thought of her over the years and I asked if I could call her again when I came back to visit my sister.
"Please do", she said. "Just ask for Sally."
Three months later I was back in Seattle. A different voice answered.
"Information." I asked for Sally.
"Are you a friend?" she said.
"Yes, a very old friend," I answered.
"I'm sorry to have to tell you this," she said. "Sally had been working part-time the last few years because she was sick. She died five weeks ago."
Before I could hang up she said, "Wait a minute, did you say your name was Paul?" "Yes." I answered.
"Well, Sally left a message for you. She wrote it down in case you called. Let me read it to you." The note said, "Tell him there are other worlds to sing in. He'll know what I mean."
I thanked her and hung up. I knew what Sally meant.
My friends never underestimate the difference you have made and continue to make. Until next time I send you much love and light…
This past weekend I was watching Super Soul Sunday, one of my favorite Sunday things to do. As I flipped through the morning schedule of inspiring past shows, one piqued my interest more than the others. “Unlocking Your Creative Genius”, Oprah’s interview with Steven Pressfield, the author of “The War of Art.” I’m actually not too familiar with Mr. Pressfield’s work, but I’m always game to learn more about creative genius and how we can unlock our own.
With pen and journal in hand I watched. I began adding a few new tools to my already well-stocked toolbox. Not to mention having a few “a-has” around resistance. (More to come in a future post.)
The beginning of the interview was engaging, as I found myself agreeing with many of the points being made…
…yes to everyone has a calling,
…yes to everyone is placed on this earth for a reason,
…and yes to “put your ass where your heart wants to be.” (Love that!)
Then Mr. Pressfield said something that made me want to stop listening. Something that raised my hackles REALLY high! He said…
“Everyone KNOWS their calling.”
Why did this raise my hackles?
Because that’s just not true and I’ve seen statements like that twist a person’s soul or cause great pain and feelings of inadequacy. Not to mention, I’ve heard many, many times, “There must be something wrong with me, because I can’t figure out what my passion or purpose is.”
If I sound bitchy, I apologize sincerely.
The truth is if everyone knew their calling there wouldn’t be a need for coaches, assessments, or books like “I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was” by Barbara Sher.
Not everyone knows their calling.
Some do and that’s FANTASTIC! But not everyone!
Some Thoughts About Calling
It’s OK if we don’t know our calling. Not knowing does not make us flawed and incomplete as human beings. It’s in the not knowing that we get to try different things on for size.
Callings don’t have to be that “something” that changes the world on a massive scale. They just need to be something that creates a strong pull for us.
It’s never too late and we are never too old to find ours.
Here’s something to consider…what if rather than search for our calling we discover our values and live through those values on regular basis? At the end of the day, our values are connected to our calling.
Having shared those thoughts, if you’re still searching for your own calling and feeling the pressure, I offer the following suggestions:
1.) Ignore the external voices that say you SHOULD know what you were put on this earth to do. Those external voices, they aren’t you. They don’t know your life or walk in your shoes.
2.) I love what Elizabeth Gilbert once said … be like a hummingbird and have a curiosity-driven life. It’s your own curiosity that often leads you to your calling.
3.) Connect with your values and use them! If you aren’t sure what your values are or how to use them, then please get in touch.
4.) Stay present and open to the possibilities. I love what Pam Grout does every morning so much so that I borrowed it from her. Each morning I say, “Something awesome is going to happen to me today.”
5.) Remember, that there is NOTHING wrong with you if you can’t name and claim your calling,
7.) This is worth repeating once again….stop striving for the big, thinking that your calling has to be big in order for it to be an important calling. Maybe you make great cakes that put a smile on people’s faces and when you are doing so you feel like you are in a flow. My friend, that’s an important calling!
8.) Recognize and acknowledge all your cool qualities and characteristics. Do you make people laugh? Are you a giving person? Do you write really well?
9.) Stop the comparisons! When you compare yourself to someone else, you’re continuing the feeling of inadequacy and you’re hiding what makes you, you!
The bottom-line, whether you can name your calling or not, don’t ever underestimate the difference you make just by being here and being you!
Until next time, here’s to you in much love and gratitude…
I haven’t been myself lately.
Looking in the mirror has been difficult; the reflection staring back at me has not been “mine”. My sparkle has been replaced with critical, lackluster eyes that taunt and cast judgment.
Where did I go? What happened?
Worry happened. Worry about my own future. Worry about finances. Worry that I’d lose what’s important to me.
If there was a fictional worry story to create, I created it.
Anger happened. Anger that I allowed my feelings and thoughts to be overtaken by another’s neediness. Anger that I let someone use me even though I knew better.
Sadness happened. Sadness that I lost connection with myself and that I fell into some old habits; habits of people pleasing.
I’ve coached many a client around coming out of those foggy, dank feelings, helping them to find their own “how-tos” only to forget my own. What the hell?!?
How could I forget?
I know. I let myself become consumed with the worry, the anger, the sadness. I let it take over my very essence like a dis-ease. I did this.
Not circumstances, situations, or anyone else. I did this.
I own my essential role in this consuming disconnection.
It’s not about blame. It’s about awareness.
I am aware of my frailties and vulnerabilities. I am aware that only I get to say how I feel and ultimately how I show up.
It’s down to me and only me.
And it’s now down to me to re-connect to the true essence of who I am. To return to my values and what I know to work for me so that the spark replaces the dullness.
I am reminded of the Phoenix who from it’s own ashes resurrected into something bigger and better. In order to do that, however, it had to disassemble.
The past month has been my time to turn to ashes in order to rebuild and resurrect in a brighter, better way.
From the ashes
I’m now realizing that sometimes we have to sit with the ashes not with the view of wallowing, but instead to take stock of the good and to plan our own resurrection. (Just like the Phoenix). While this past month has tested me BIG TIME it’s also given me some amazing gifts. Gifts that I’m choosing to see and receive. For example:
Those are some amazing gifts and I’m truly grateful.
If you take anything away from this post, I hope it’s this…
Sometimes we have to disassemble in order to rebuild in a better, more fitting way. It’s in the disassembling that we not only get a chance to re-create ourselves, but we get to clean house. Leaving behind what doesn’t work so we have more space for what does.
Here’s to beautiful resurrections!
Much love and light to you…
Before I dive into our topic I want to express my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of those bright lights who lost their lives during the weekend’s tragedy in Orlando, Florida. Like many, I will never understand acts of hatred and violence. I will never understand the malice that some carry and frankly, I don’t want to understand.
What I do understand is this... hatred is a learned behavior and not something any of us was born with.
My friends, please let’s join together as one body, one heart regardless of race, religion, age, or sexual orientation to share love instead of hate. For in the wise words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
Thank you all for doing your part to share love in this time of much needed healing.
Are words hurting you?
I’m constantly amazed at the emphasis we place on the food we put into our bodies. You can't turn on the TV or pick up a magazine without seeing a commercial/article for a diet. There's tons of information available. TONS! Please don’t get me wrong; it’s important that we feed our bodies well, but what about what we feed our brains?
There’s not much emphasis placed on what we feed our brains and how that can be just as damaging to our bodies and our minds. Similar to feeding our bodies chemicals, loads of sugar, and preservatives, if we’re feeding our brains “junk” (a.k.a negative words, gossip, etc.) we're doing damage, plain and simple.
As a matter of fact, I used to feed my brain no end of crap on a regular basis (meaning multiple times a day, every day). It was no wonder I was tired and miserable. Not to mention, I suffered from high blood pressure and regular headaches.
In the blog post “Words Can Change Your Brain” by Therese J. Borchard, Borchard states, “Humans are hardwired to worry — part of our primal brains protecting us from threats to our survival — so our thoughts naturally go here first. However, a single negative word can increase the activity in our amygdala (the fear center of the brain). This releases dozens of stress-producing hormones and neurotransmitters, which in turn interrupts our brains’ functioning. (This is especially with regard to logic, reason, and language.)”
Have you ever found yourself feeling really good until you heard something or read something negative?
Good feelings turn to negative ones and those negative feelings don’t just impact how we feel, but they impact how we see things, how we respond, and in turn they impact the chemicals produced in our body, as well as our blood pressure.
If words can change water, they can change us
I remember many years ago watching the movie “What the Bleep Do We Know!?” and featured in the movie was a rather cool water experiment conducted by Dr. Masaru Emoto. (To read more about his experiment, click here)
In short Dr. Emoto placed water in vials and on the outside of the vials he wrote words like, “I hate you”, “fear”, “I love you” and “peace”. Then he froze the water. The vials with the negative words formed grey, misshaped clumps. While the vials with the positive words formed beautifully shaped ice crystals, similar to snowflakes. In essence, his study demonstrated the power that negative and positive words have on an object.
As human beings we are made up of about 50-65% water so can you imagine the impact words have on our bodies knowing that?
Here’s the thing, our brains don’t know what’s real versus what’s not. It relies on us to tell it what's so. If our brains' diet is one of negative words, complaining, gossip, hurtful comments from others, and negative news our brains are going to respond in kind. They're going to produce negative evidence to support what they're being fed. Which in turn impacts not only the way we feel physically and mentally, but how we show up.
How to change the brain’s diet
Want to hear something really cool? We can rewire our brains by putting it on a healthy diet! And to do just that I'd like to offer some ideas....
What are some ways in which you ensure that your brain is being fed the good stuff? We'd love to hear!!
Sending you much love and light…
“If you are busy pleasing everyone, you are not being true to yourself” ― Jocelyn Murray
Do you find yourself “conforming” in order to feel a part of something?
Do you do things for others, not because you want to, but because you don’t want to rock the boat?
Do you find that you’re not being you in fear that you will turn people off?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions you’re not alone.
As a recovering people pleaser of the highest order, I get it. I know what it feels like to lose yourself and your identity in an effort to make others happy just to fit in. And I’m here to tell you; it’s not your fault. It isn’t. Being a people-pleasing conformist is learned behavior.
Think about it…
“Good little children are seen and not heard.”
“If you can’t beat them, join them.”
“If Momma ain’t happy, nobody’s happy.”
“Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.”
Many of us learned early on that in order to belong we had to be someone we weren’t, dampen down our accomplishments, and find ways to make others happy in order to fit somewhere, anywhere.
BUT in conforming and people pleasing what we were saying to the world (and ourselves) is that who we are as our most authentic selves has never been good enough or worthy enough of those authentic, long-lasting connections.
Again, I get it.
I used to feel that if I showed up as me, the real me, that people wouldn’t like me.
So I did what I thought I needed to do; I hid behind the people pleasing and the conforming. I hid my intuitive abilities. I stuffed my feelings and even my tears. I put on that positive face regardless of what kind of day I was having. I said “yes” A LOT to things I didn’t want to do. I made others a priority and myself an option. And guess what?
I was surrounded by people that I thought I fit in with! Yes! But…
I WAS MISERABLE!
To make a very long story short, I got tired of being miserable so I made it my commitment to stop the people pleasing conformist behavior. In doing so I began to feel so much better, better about my relationships and most importantly, better about me.
That is what I want for you. I want for you to be true to you so that you’re no longer hiding your amazing, gorgeous, fantastic, kick-ass self behind behaviors that don’t suit you and never have.
Ways to tell when we're people pleasing or conforming
Please do not misunderstand me; it feels good to do nice things for other people, but not at the cost of our own well-being or identity. With that said I’d like to offer you the following as a way to identify people pleasing and conforming behaviors.
You know you’re people pleasing or conforming when you’re…
Ways to stop conforming or people pleasing
Part of changing any behavior is being aware of it first. Since the list above isn’t exhaustive, I encourage you to add your own triggers or alerts. That way you know when you’re people pleasing or conforming so that you can choose a different course of action. Actions like the following:
In closing, I share this song with hope that it inspires you to be you ….knowing that you're loved and supported just as you are. Always.
Much love and light to you…
When I was little spring was always marked by the preparation of a space in our backyard for a vegetable garden. Like clockwork the gardening gloves and trowels would make their way out of the garage dusty, but ready to do their job. And because I loved to dig in the dirt, I was always quick to volunteer my help. Gardening season was my opportunity to get really dirty without looks of dismay from my mom.
And so began our little gardening ritual…
My mom would create the holes in the newly tilled soil and I’d come behind her with the seeds…placing each one carefully in its new home. And since I was also in charge of the hose, they’d get a good soaking afterward. (Dirt+Water = Mud! YES!!)
Then came my least favorite part of the ritual, the part where we waited for the carrots, zucchini, green beans, strawberries and tomatoes to show themselves.
Every day after school I’d run to the garden and check for signs of growth. EVERY DAY…as if by magic the newly planted seed would defy time and Mother Nature and go from seed to fully grown plant just like that!
(Obviously waiting was not my strong suit.)
When there was no sign of life just yet, I’d be tempted to dig around the seeds to see if they had sprouted roots. (I never did, but I was tempted.) Somehow I knew that doing so would kill the seeds before they had a chance to grow. Somehow I knew that I just had to trust, trust that they were doing their thing and when they were ready they would show themselves.
I needed that little walk down memory lane; there’s a lesson there that I have yet to master. A lesson to wait!
Still planting, and still not waiting
I’ve been planting seeds (a.k.a my work in the world) and instead of trusting and letting them sprout when they’re ready, I’ve been pulling them out to see if they’re growing.
For example, most recently I launched The Insider’s Guide to Dealing With Fear e-course. After a six-month gestation period, I was excited to share it with the world. I shared it just knowing that it would reach the masses that it needed to reach. But guess what?
(Oh, did I mention that it’s only been less than a week since its launch? No? Impatience, party of one, your table is ready.)
The launch didn’t sprout in the first few days, much less grow and I was disappointed. How could something I put my heart and soul into not develop roots and take off like crazy?
Simple. Its lack of growth was a direct reflection of my not trusting in its merit and ability to grow. Not to mention my own impatience. Clearly I was expecting time defying magic to kick in this time!!
Rather than trust (and practice patience), I was pulling out the seed to see if it had taken root by watching my stats, likes on Facebook, retweets on Twitter. In essence I was making the entire launch about me, as if it was some sort of validation for what I do. SHIT!! SHIT!! SHIT!!
(I don’t ever want the work I do in the world to be about me! EVER!! Because it’s not!)
Not only was I beginning totally impatient, but I seemed to have invited Ego to join me in my “garden”! GREAT!!
Hello Ego! Care to have a cup of coffee with me? I’d offer you some strawberries from the garden, but I think I killed them.
Does any of this sound familiar?
How many times have you planted seeds only to pull them out to see if they were growing?
Tending the garden, instead of killing it
Here are a few things I’ll be focusing on going forward to make damned sure I’m not killing my “garden”. Please feel free to use them, add to them, tweak them and make them your own
Letting trust and belief tend to the “garden”. I know that’s often easier said then done. Since it takes practice, every time there’s a temptation to “pull the seeds out”, lets stop and ask the following:
“Do I believe in what I’m doing?”
“Do I trust in my own work/in myself?”
If the answer is “yes” then we just need to remember that it will all work as it’s supposed to. If the answer is “no”, there might be a need to do some digging…digging as to why belief and trust aren’t hanging out in our “garden”.
Connect with the cause. The cause is usually greater than we are! When we can remind ourselves of that, reconnecting to the reasons we’re doing what we do, we redirect our focus.
Ask someone to take the trowel away. When there’s the temptation to check the seed’s growth, because chances are there will be, share that temptation with someone else so they can pry the trowel from our sweaty fingers.
Learn. If we dig up the seed and kill it, the worst thing we can do is beat ourselves up with the very trowel we used for digging. Instead, lets use it as an opportunity to learn. Remembering that the Universe only puts in front of us what we have yet to learn and master.
Until next time, I know what I’ll be doing…not killing my “garden”.
As always I welcome your thoughts, insights, questions and comments!
Much love and light to you…
When was the last time you had some fun?
If it’s been awhile, you’re not alone.
As I alluded in my last post, fun had recently gone MIA from my world while a whole lot of serious had taken its place. With serious as my sidekick I had very little energy, my creative juices had slowed to a trickle, and my attitude sucked lemons. (Honestly, I don’t blame fun for having gone missing. I wouldn’t have wanted to hang out with me either.)
You know what I think the problem is when it comes to cutting loose and enjoying a bit of play?
It’s our perception that has become a problem.
We can’t have fun until all our work is done.
We can’t have fun until the chores are taken care of.
We can’t have fun until…until…until…
If I had a dime for every time one of my clients, friends, or even I’ve said, “I’ve got so much to do. I don’t have time.” I’d be a wealthy woman. I think we’ve gotten caught up in the notion that as adults we have to be responsible ALL THE FRICKING TIME. Maybe we’ve forgotten how important consistent fun is to our own mental, physical, and spiritual well-being.
Here’s something to ponder, my friends…
Fun does not equate to irresponsibility and anyone who tells you differently is full of shit!
Want to find your purpose or your passion? Stop trying so hard and have some fun.
Want to cure yourself of a bad case of lifesucks-itis? Have some fun.
Want to alleviate stress? You guessed it, have some fun.
I don’t know about you, but I think it’s time that we stop starving ourselves of something that feeds our creativity, our energy levels, and our brains. And to stop the starvation, I’d like to offer you a few tips for infusing some more fun into your weekly or daily repertoire. Tips that I’m going to employ myself!
Tip #1: Look for some white space in your schedule and use it for fun. Ten minutes of fun is better than none at all.
Tip #2: Form an accountability team. Yep, that’s right, ask some people to hold you accountable for having some playtime. Hells bells invite them to join you. Playgroups aren’t just for kids you know?!
Tip #3: Make a list of things that you consider enjoyable so that you have some no-brainer options to choose from.
Tip #4: Watch for the excuses. Excuses are a buzz kill.
Tip #5: If you have kids in your world, follow their lead. Kids have no troubles having fun and they can serve as great role models.
Tip #6: Don’t let others rain on your parade or define fun for you. Maybe you think underwater basket weaving is entertaining, but your wife or husband thinks it’s silly. No worries. Weave your little heart out, because your significant other will benefit from you doing what you enjoy!
Tip #7: Create a drawer where you can keep some “instant fun”, for example, coloring books, jacks, Play-Doh, crossword puzzles.
On Your Marks, Get Set, Play…
Whatever you do to ensure that you’re having more fun, please do. And while you’re at it, share this with someone else so they too can jump on the fun bandwagon! What a cooler place the world would be if we were all doing something enjoyable on a consistent basis.
Until next time, I’m off to get my F.U.N. on.
Much love and light to you all,
Have you ever pushed yourself so hard that you got sick? Or maybe you let your self-care slide just enough that you began to lose steam?
Here’s the thing, if you don’t take care of you, the Universe will be sure to intervene on your behalf. You wanna know how I know?
For the past two weeks I’ve been sick. I don’t get sick very often, but when I do, I do so in a major way. Not to mention, I make the worst patient. I get cranky when I have to stay in bed and my plans get thrown way off track.
And I had BIG plans prior to getting sick.
I was going to record all my videos for the Insider’s Guide to Dealing With Fear e-course. I was going to go through and make the final edits and format the e-course so that I could launch it at the end of this month.
Did any of that happen? No!
Instead, I found myself in bed sleeping lots and worrying lots.
I worried that I was letting people down…because I said I was going to launch this month.
I worried that something would fall through the cracks while I was laid out flat, hacking up a lung.
What’s funny, I know better! I know how important self-care and fun is. I’m a huge proponent, but sadly, it seems my taskmaster alter ego got the better of me.
“Pam, you have an e-course to launch. You promised. Work harder! Get it done and get it done now!”
Does that sound familiar?
I kept pushing and pushing to get everything done, letting my self-care slide and my fun go missing. Until…
Wham! Enter nasty virus stage left with no choice, but to stop, rest, and just be.
“I am a human being, not a human doing. Don't equate your self-worth with how well you do things in life. You aren't what you do. If you are what you do, then when you don't...you aren't." - Dr. Wayne Dyer
I actually have to admit that I’m glad the Universe intervened on my behalf. Not that I wanted to get sick, but I did need a swift kick in the ass to remind myself of what’s important.
Like the following reminders…
So, my friends if you aren’t already doing so, my challenge to you is this…
…please, please, please ensure that you are doing something fun each week and that each day you are taking some time just for you. Because remember…you are a human being, not a human doing and for that reason, and that reason alone the Universe will always intervene on your behalf.
Much love and light to you...
_I woke yesterday to some very sad news, the news that David Bowie passed. Bowie has always been an icon to me and not just because of his music and art.
While talented beyond measure, his courage to be different, to challenge the norm, and to inspire others to do the same are what I’ve always admired most. In my very humble opinion, we didn’t just lose an innovator and a musical genius; we lost a free spirit who paved the way for other free spirits to let their freak flags fly.
I loved that about him especially since I have battled with my own demons around being different.
I think it’s something we have all faced, the courage to be who we are in a world that often tells us otherwise. I can’t begin to tell you how many amazing people I have talked to over the past 11 years who have struggled with trying to fit in while wanting more than anything to stand out. Squashing their spirit for the sake of acceptance.
The madness of being something we are not in order to fit in has got to stop and so in honor of our individuality and in honor of Bowie, I offer a few tips to embrace the different and colorful sides of who we are:
1. Show up for you and see you. We all have a need to be seen, to be acknowledged for who we are. What we often don’t realize (and I’m guilty of this), is how important it is that we see ourselves. That we take the time to acknowledge all our amazing qualities and characteristics we have. In doing so, we stand firmly in our own authenticity.
(I shared an exercise with my newsletter subscribers for seeing yourself so if you’re interested in the exercise, please drop me a note.)
2. Use your body as a guide. My body is my GPS and when I tune into it, it lets me know when I’m not being authentically me. When I’m doing something just to fit in…that way I can course correct.
3. Don’t be afraid to speak up for you. Remembering that you are only responsible for how your message is delivered. Not how it’s received.
4. Say “yes” to life. Which means stepping outside your comfort zone and trying some new things on for size.
5. Don’t let others steal your thunder. People are always going to have an opinion and that’s OK. Just know it’s your opinion of who you are and what you do that matters most.
6. Drop the comparisons. When you compare yourself to someone else you dim your own uniqueness and you say to yourself that who you are, as you are is not good enough.
7. Don’t worry that you’ll be alone. Your tribe is waiting, people who get you and will gladly have you as you are.
My friends, I turn it over to you, how will you share your uniqueness with the world in 2016?
About this blog
This blog is all about walking the walk, and not just talking my talk.