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Archive for January, 2013

Last weekend I finally got around to cleaning out my closet.  Yay!

ClosetIt wasn’t that it was terribly disorganized or anything…in fact it was in pretty good shape.  It’s just that I realized I only used about half the closet because I only wore about half the clothes I had in there.

Now granted, After my car accident, with dizzy spells and a broken ankle (not to mention a few bones in my foot) I wasn’t able to run or hit the gym and put on some weight.  I have been eating better and moving more and dropping some pounds but not everything fits as it used to you know?  (yuck..that was hard to share.)

Still, some things I actually was surprised to see.  It’s been a while and I had forgotten about even owning them.  Anyway..the point it I donated a few bags of clothes (including my ‘fat’ jeans – Yeah baby! ) and got everything organized again and back in the closet.   It looks lovely.  I actually enjoyed opening the door this morning to see everything unsquished and hanging nice and orderly.

I like to do that to my living space quite often. I get the ‘urge to purge’ as I like to call it.  And yes..I know. I may enjoy rhyming more than is normal, but I’m okay with that too.

I make room.  I make room to more easily enjoy those things I already have that I love.  I make room to bring new things into my home that I believe will make life better or more beautiful and sometimes I just make room! (Yes Charlie…that scary rocking chair is gone and never coming back).

The same goes for other things in our lives.  Including our own belief system.  It’s really important to on occasion take a look at what we are doing and why we are doing it.  Are we dragging out beliefs from early childhood to manage our adult life?  Let’s face it, there is a very good chance that isn’t doing us one lick of good.

It’s okay to look at something and realize it’s not true, not helpful or simply off.  Doesn’t matter.  You can get rid of it and make room for a new belief that will serve you in creating your most fabulous life. 

All these learned beliefs that make us victims in our lives can get replaced.   Still you do need to reach into your deepest places and pull them out. Much like I did to my old clothes tucked in the back of the closet.  I couldn’t decide what to do with them until I looked at them, dusted a few off and tried them on even.  A few much-loved pieces I wore often no longer felt right.  They had to go. 

My book Building Your Beautiful Light talks about this.  You can’t build up your light and shine if the window are blocked up by junk. 

You need to make some room.

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I’m tired of all the rhetoric spouting a bunch of crap that your Fears aren’t real.  Hey, they are just in your mind so no biggie right? 

My rather sarcastic nature would like to say to these people “oh!  Well then, suddenly I’m perfectly fine – just wish you had mentioned that one years ago” 

I get it, they are trying to calm you and motivate you to get going on whatever it is you are holding back from.  Sometimes, sure, we just need to take a deep breath and go for it. For me that’s all I need when getting on stage to talk.  Few calming breaths and just jump in.  If I think about it too long I’ll probably run screaming lol.  But it’s taken a lot of work on my inner critic to learn to shut her up long enough to get going. 

Here’s the thing.  IT DOESN”T ALWAYS WORK THAT WAY. My fears are real, I have just learned to deal with that one with some tricks and self talk. 

Next time someone with their head in the clouds tells you that your fears and anxiety aren’t real just smile and carry on because you know they most certainly are. 

Fear is real.  (yup that’s a PERIOD)  They range in how much power they have over us and how well we deal with them.

Still, you can’t touch them or throw them out with the garbage.  They are yours and they are real.  Real emotions, real thoughts and real physical manifestations of those first two on occasion.  To simply say ‘they aren’t real, so just get going’ isn’t fair or helpful. 

product-of-thoughtsWhat is helpful is giving you all the permission you need to feel it and name it and know you are not only sane, but normal.  That is the first step is dealing with fear and keeping it from holding you back from creating a fabulous life.

Feel it, Name it.

Our emotions can be very powerful and fear or anxiety would certainly be high on the list of most powerful.  To discount that is foolish and if you haven’t noticed, kind of pisses me off. (pardon the language).  It is okay to feel fear.  However, it’s not in your best interest to allow it to be the ruling emotion in your life. 

After my head and neck injury in a car accident I had real anxiety and fear.  The kind that make you crumple into a corner and refuse to move.  To tell me that it isn’t ‘real’ or ‘just’ emotion is just stupid and hurtful.  It certainly didn’t help get me out the door.  I bless those who were kind and accepting of what was happening and supported me.  There were those who instead made me feel like something was ‘wrong’ with me and ‘god why can’t you just get over it?’  Without support, I honestly thought I needed to be committed as I must have lost my mind.

Feel it, name it.  Then you can devise a plan to deal with it.  Facing my own anxiety was one of the hardest things I have ever done.  Even with support and with taking tiny, itty-bitty steps.  I logically knew what I had to do, even before I had the accident, but I struggled hard until I had some support.  Hey, we all need a hand up and out of the dark sometimes.  Occasionally we need to find that light in someone else to help us see our own again. 

You do need to DO something if you want to move forward towards goals or even just living life fully.  But be gentle with yourself, and don’t let anyone tell you that these aren’t real. They are.  BUT that also means they can be overcome and dealt with. 

First, know that it’s okay to feel what you feel.  Give a true name and look at it.  I promise a peek won’t hurt too much and can alleviate a lot of stress around it.  Even though your heart might feel like it’s going to beat so hard as to fly out of your chest it won’t. Deep calming breaths – on step at a time.  Writing really  helps with this.  Ask yourself what can you do and try not to focus solely on what you are struggling to do. 

Sitting still and allowing your fears to control you isn’t a good option.  You can learn to deal with them, put them in their place, change your thought patterns and get to be who you want to be and where  you want to be.  The choice is yours of course. 

Your fears may be real, but they aren’t bigger than you.  Ask for some help if you need it, but remember…you got this.

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As I’m sure you’ve heard Conrad Bain; the actor who played the father on the TV series Different Strokes has passed.  Although I bless him the next part of his journey and I bless his family who must be missing him terribly that isn’t what this post is about.

I’ve been hearing the theme song for the TV show all over the place.  It’s quite catchy (check it out here if you dont’ know it)

So the main idea is that “it takes different strokes to move the world” or in other words everybody has different likes/dislikes and needs.  The gist of the message is that this is a wonderful thing.

So far I love it.  Heck I loved it when I was a kid.

But, it got me thinking.  Sure we all have differences and that is what makes life so interesting if you’re not so pig-headed or mired in your own life to see it. At the same time, we also haveLearningTogether a lot of sameness. (is that a word? Well, it is now! )

I mean sure  we all have to eat, sleep and poop, but it does go way deeper than physical need.  We all have ‘sameness’ in our emotional ones too.

The easy to see ones of course are we all need love.  But just as important and so rarely spoken of – we need a few other things too. 

  • We need to feel heard
  • We need physical and emotional connection
  • We all need to feel like we matter
  • We need to feel secure

How often are we ensuring our children understand what this means?  How often do we check in with our selves to ensure our needs are being met around these things? How often are we taking the time to make sure our own loved ones feel heard, secure and connected?

More importantly – What are we doing if they are not?

Too often we ignore it.  Cover it up with excuses and “maybe laters” or “next time”.  We can’t keep doing this.  The time is now.

The conversations need to happen.  The biggest things  I hear over and OVER again is that when talking to me as a coach people are so grateful (to tears) that they finally feel like they are being heard and validated rather than judged.

Dear friends….listen to this.  We are all living in a world where we our basic needs are not being met far too often.  How to fix it?  Start by understanding what you need and asking for it.  Also, don’t forget that everyone around you has these needs too.  Learn to listen deeply, accept with out judgement and offer the connections you want as well.

I see so many lost souls wandering and crying out for what is so close and yet so far.  Let’s start by learning to love our ‘self’ first, then offering the same love to the world.

Blessings,

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2talkingThis post might look a little different from most.  I am sharing with you a snippet of a conversation that took place (with permission of course).

I was talking to a client about their goals.  LOADS of frustration on their part because they feel they are scattered all over the place and nothing connects for them.  Add in they have so many goals that they don’t know where to even start.  *Please note I did make some edits in order to protect privacy.

Time to back up this train.

ME:  Where do you want these goals to take you?

CLIENT: What do you mean?

ME:  If I can be kind of ‘devil’s advocate’ for a moment?

CLIENT: Sure

ME: What’s the point of doing all this stuff in the first place?

CLIENT: well…(long pause) I guess so I can improve my life. 

ME: Where is your life lacking that you need to improve it?

CLIENT: Me..I’m lacking (this was more blurted out than said).  Haha..no I mean, well, couldn’t we all improve our lives?

ME:  Can we?

CLIENT: I know I can…I just can’t put my finger on where. I-I-hmmm.   I guess I just want to get to a place where I feel happy.

ME: Where is this place?

CLIENT: What? Well..  I guess it’s somewhere in the future when I improve my life.

ME: Okay. So tell me what does this place look like?

CLIENT: Look like?  I hadn’t thought much about that.  I guess it’s where I am happy because I like what I do, who I am and I have good friends and security.  (*to be honest the details were a bit more specific but in fairness to privacy I generalized it)

ME: Do you have any of that right now?

CLIENT: Kind of. (*went on to describe 3 situations)

ME: Wait…so you have 3 places right in the here and now that you find really happy?  So..tell me what makes you feel you must you wait for the future to be happy?

CLIENT: Well, because it’s only part of my life.

ME:  How much of your life must be in place for you to be happy?

CLIENT: uh you mean like a percentage?  I don’t know..hmm.  Oh I see where you going.  Life isn’t ever perfect is it?

ME: Is it?

CLIENT: No.  It isn’t but some people just seem like life is good and I want that.

ME: So, we know no one’s life is perfect and yet some people act like it anyway. 

CLIENT: Huh.  How do they do that?  I guess they just focus on the good stuff?  But you can’t ignore the bad things that happen.

ME: True.  Consider your energy and focus a limited amount of funds every day.  Can you do that?

CLIENT: Yup.

ME: When you focus on something; good or bad – you spend some of this ‘energy’ fund. Okay?

CLIENT: Okay

ME:  Where are you going to put the most of your funds if you want to be happy? 

CLIENT:  Oh! (eyes have lit up and there is a big smile).  I see where this is going.

Okay ladies and gentlemen.  That is all I”m going to share because it gets very personal at that point.  I hope you can see where this was going too.  Just like life – you spend you money on what is important to you.  For most of us that’s housing, clothes, food and then some fun stuff.  But we still have to pay bills, go to the dentist and fix the darn car.   Once the car repairs are paid for though are you going to obsess on them?  No?  You move on. 

This is also how you should treat your negative stuff in life.  Deal with it, and move on.  Learn to let go so it doesn’t consume your thoughts and make it so you can’t take pleasure in the beautiful things and people that do surround you.

 

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I read a quote today on Facebook that included the comment  “and never let ’em see you cry”.  What’s with that crap?myrant

Yes, this is going to be a bit of a rant.  Bear with me lovelies.

For most of my life I held it in.  People hurt me deeply and I did everything in my power to hide it.  I let them carry on thinking all was just fine.  Sometimes it was fear of being vulnerable, sometimes I didn’t want to make others uncomfortable but mostly I thought I would appear weak.  My thoughts? “Screw them. They will never see me cry!”

So, but refusing to share or be truthful, I thought I was strong.  I was fooling myself.

It’s not strong to hide your emotions, it’s really not.  Burying them deep down causes some real problems for your  health too but I’m not even going to go there.  The mental and emotional issues are enough for one post I think.

Problem number one with this crap of never let them see you cry.  Crying is a natural and healthy reaction.  It means you have feelings and that is a good thing.  When you hurt you need to feel it in order to move through and past it.  I’m not saying you have to shed tears, but forcing yourself to NOT feel them when you need to is foolish. 

Tears can be sign that you have been strong for long enough, that you need to heal. 

Problem number two may be a surprise for some.  What I discovered it you can’t just shut off ONE emotion.  All others are affected too.  At the least, joy is diminished, love is dampened or even withheld and that sucks.   What’s the point of this life if you aren’t going to experience it?? 

Life has pain and sorrow and it has joys beyond measure.  You can’t have one without allowing the other.  Shut them off and you are not living – you are simply surviving.

So cut it out with this nonsense.  Let your emotions happen and bless them.  If you hurt and feel tears – let them come.   If you are joyful and feel tears – let them come.  You should never excuse being a human who participates fully in life. 

If you find that it makes others uncomfortable, that isn’t your stuff.  That is their stuff.  Perhaps you may even help them find permission to feel more deeply themselves, or perhaps they will simply feel awkward.  Let them.  They  have their own story to write.

I am not a person who easily cries…never really have been.  Which brings me to problem number three.  Not being honest with myself or others.  If I am feeling tears and I stamp them down along with the emotions that brought the tears in the first place, I am hiding from myself.  I am telling my self that I am not allowed to be me and my truth is not valuable.   Oh hell no!  You and I both know that we are worthy of our own truth!

You also are not being honest with those around you.  If you act like what is happening is no big deal, guess what?  They will continue to do whatever is upsetting you, hurting you or causing those tears.  Even joyous tears that are not allowed can be dishonest.  Those around you get to thinking you don’t ‘feel’ it and might think you don’t really care.  Not great for your relationships.

Why are we so afraid to show our hearts these days?

My tears, my joys and my hurts are MINE to express however I need to.  If that means tears or dancing in the aisle, this is what I will be doing.  So I’m changing those old lyrics from “it’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to…” into “It’s my life and I’ll cry if I want to..”

So I say, let ’em see you cry but keep your head held high.  Stand proudly in those emotions whatever they are.  I ask you to never EVER apologise for being you. 

You are far to wonderful to allow yourself to be diminished like that.

Okay…rant over.  ((hugs)) all around! 

Blessings and love to you all!

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It’s been a long week this week.  You know the kind.  Nothing horrible has happened – in fact it’s been good – just LONG.

I added a big (like the whole day from Monday to Friday) project to my roster.  I’m working with some fantastic kids who are visiting from Korea to see what schools here are like.

My job is to work on their English and help them adjust to culture shock.  If you’ve been around for a while reading my blog you know I’ve done this before. 

It’s pretty awesome when you take step back and look at it.

These kids are mostly 11-13 years old.  They’ve not only studied hard and learned another language but won a contest to come here in this program.  Add to that they are staying with220324606740520945_pzYxvA3Y_c host families because their parents did not come with them.  When they left…they were leaving behind everyone they know.

Now the children have made friends, many have begun to enjoy their host families and are learning tons.  Many of them have big dreams too.  Lots of them want to be diplomats or scientists and the like.  This experience will help them do that.

What were YOU doing at 11-13 years old? 

Seriously…are you even chasing your dreams this hard now?

I really enjoy being with these kids.  My voice usually starts to wobble (it is a LOT of talking over and over) and it’s really quite draining, but still.  You can’t ask for more inspiriation to light a fire under your butt to do something today to make your own dreams come true.

Ask yourself what you keep saying you want to do ‘someday’.  Where does your mind go when you have time to just think about nothing?  Someday can be today…it should be today. 

And please don’t tell me it’s too late, you’re too busy or too old or any other crap that you and I both know is just excuses because you’re feeling a bit like a big ol chicken.  Ya, I said it. I know because I feel that way too sometimes and it’s okay. Just don’t let your old emotional habits rule your life.  Make another choice to do it anyway.  Fear won’t and can’t hurt you. It’s just a feeling.

So, I challenge you to make one step towards your dreams.  Make that phone call, write an outline for your book, look up information…whatever it is just go get started.  Watch fear slink away.

Life is too short to waste sitting around waiting for someday.   Screw someday…let’s go make it happen TODAY.

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There is no other basic lesson around mindset that I can teach before you understand that your mindset precedes your level of achievement. Every single time.

It doesn’t really matter what activity you are taking on. Your mindset is the key to whether you succeed and continue to do so, or fall down and stay down.

First let’s get something straight. Working from a positive mindset does not, in any way, guarantee that you will pull off whatever it is you are about to do. It doesn’t equal success. AndMistakes-2 yes, those with negative mindsets do sometimes find success too.

The thing is…we all are going to have both. Success and failures. The difference is those with positive mindsets don’t let success or failure define them or choose their path for them.

Those who expect and assume the worst are quite capable of finding it – even in success. For these people failure is personal and begins to define who they are. They allow mistakes to paint them as personal failures and their inner voice tells them this is their truth and who they are. All they see is a pile of mistakes.

There is opportunity, even in the worst failures. When you have a mindset of looking for the good, the opportunities are found and the lessons learned. Thus, no failure is really a failure but more of a lesson learned. Mistakes are simply proof that you are trying something new.

I think for the most part I’ve always had a fairly positive outlook. However, for a time my thoughts were being influenced by someone who is a very negative thinker. I had no idea how much I was allowing this person to pull my pattern of thinking to the negative. Let me get this clear though. No one was doing it on purpose. When you are less aware of how your mindset affects your life, you also don’t realize how much influence listening to negative thinking affects your own.

Eventually, I started coming around to the way things were and I didn’t like it much. I had to make a real effort to block the negativity and return to a positive way of looking at things. I had started to think along the lines of ‘the world is an angry, unfriendly place’. Some might say I had good reason. Still, I never used to see things that way. Of course some might even say it’s because I was naive. Possibly.

The truth is, when people are kind and compassionate, we don’t really notice much as a person or as a society. We hear about the horrible stuff a lot more. It’s easy to start to believe the world is out to ‘get’ you. Many of us also have that horrible inner voice taunting us with past mess ups, or are afraid to celebrate success and lessons learned.

The thing is, when I purposefully changed how I viewed things – the world gave back many more positive things to me. At some point, I didn’t really even care what you called it. The Law of whatever….didn’t matter. What does matter is your mindset. How you view the world and what happens to and around you matters.

Whatever you want to achieve in life…be it a happy family, success in your chosen field, writing a book, singing…whatever. It will have its ups and downs. Sometimes it’s 2 steps forward, 1 step back and sometimes it feels more like the opposite. Your reactions decide what happens next.

We can actually learn more from making mistakes then from carefully doing things exactly as expected. For one thing we can stumble upon a new, different and better idea along the way if we allow ourselves to get past the failure and get creative. (Just google ‘repurposed inventions’ to see what I mean) In fact, as a teacher I can tell you kids learn a lot more deeply when they make a mistake, see it, figure out how to fix it and move on. I occasionally use that as a teaching trick. I’d purposefully writing an error for all the kids to see and them make them tell me what I did wrong. Of course they loved finding the teacher’s mistake. Do you really think adults are any different in how they learn? Nope.

Pay attention to your mindset. Have one that focuses on failures, mistakes and how you messed up and you will continue to see those come into your life and most likely will give up. Choose to have one that looks for the success, the lessons and the opportunities and you will find them. It’s reallly that simple.

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