I’m a Life Coach. A certified Martha Beck Life Coach.

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And although I’m no longer actively coaching, once a life coach, always a life coach!

I had my own life coaching business, coaching women in need, called Pure Light Coaching. I loved it, but life called me in a different direction.

This page is a collection of my blogs from when I was life coaching, all taken from my website Purelightcoaching, which is no longer active.

Who knows, maybe a nomad will find something useful here!

(The links are no longer active)

I WAS LOST.

PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 8TH 2017

It’s been a while since I’ve written, dear ones. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to.
I went numb and silent after the election.

It wasn’t a question of values. I was privileged to work for 20 years at a local Planned Parenthood. In my younger days I was a card carrying Wiccan.

But for the first time in a long time, it felt like the pieces no longer fit together, of the world or of myself, in a way that made sense.

I was lost.
Then I Had This Dream.   

In the dream I am freestyle trance dancing. There are women all around me, dancing and chanting. We’re raising our voices and arms, and we’re dancing in support of a woman who’d been abused, dancing in a circle, rallying around her.   

We Knew In The Dream We Were WOMEN RISING.

We were dancing our protest. Our energy was FIERCE. PROTECTIVE. STRONG. FREE.

We were on fire for ourselves, for womanhood and sisterhood.

In the dream, the roles then switch and the abused woman is leading me in the dance. She dances behind me, holding her hands on my hips and gently showing my body how to sway with the movements of the dance, becoming MY
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WE WERE STANDING FOR EACH ANOTHER.     

I woke from that dream in tears.

I was no longer lost.

I knew then what I stood for. I remembered.

I AM FOR WOMEN.

All of my life experiences, healing the PTSD from patriarchal abuse as a child, finding my Spirit after healing from abusive patriarchal religion, learning feminine power, exploring my own sexuality, working at Planned Parenthood for 20 years, freeing myself from an abusive, narcissistic marriage, becoming a life coach for women, was meant to be. It’s why I’m here, and it’s my gift.
My heart yearns to help women find their freedom.THAT is what I stand for. THAT is the fire in my heart.

I’m here for women not just at protests or the voting both, but in every interaction with every woman I meet.  

There’s something that emanates from my Spirit to women in need. When I worked at Planned Parenthood, I’d sit down in an office with a woman, start asking routine questions, and in minutes, she’d be crying, opening her heart and soul to me. It was kind of a joke around the office that I’d always get the cryers. When I finally understood why, it led me to become a Life Coach for Women.
I’m here to be such a force of unconditional love and acceptance for a woman that even when her mind doesn’t understand it, she’ll taste freedom. She’ll feel it in a smile, a glance, a gesture of kindness, and know there’s a different possibility for her life than the hell she’s been living. 

THAT is what I stand for.

To keep my sanity, I have to continue to remind myself to keep my focus small. If I try to figure it all out, it will take me down.

I can’t save the entire world from where I stand. 

But maybe what I stand for can save the world.

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HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH DISCOURAGEMENT?

PUBLISHED OCTOBER 26TH 2016

You know those really down days when you’re just miserable, everything sucks and you just want to tell everyone to…well you know.

Yeah that.

I recently had one of those.

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I hit a bump in my path. Not big enough to send me off the road, but enough to really rattle me.

It involved government forms and check boxes, and how I’m defined on paper when it comes to my upcoming move.

‘Nuff said.

A conversation with a government employee had left me discouraged and depressed. I curled up on the couch, turned on Netflix and wallowed. I replayed the conversation, reviewing all the things I’d said wrong. The disconnect between my dream and the black-and-white system that can’t fit the square peg (me) in a round hole (the system) left me triggered in shame and anger.

A few times I heard the Universe whispering encouragement, (you’ll be ok, everything always works out) but for the most part, I wallowed.

The next day I decided on some coffee house therapy.

It was a $1.81 well spent.

Fueled with an excellent cup of Single Origin Guatemalan Fraijane, I pulled out my journal and started writing. Channeling really.

Here are the messages of faith I heard.

1. The Universe Provides. I know this for a fact. When I remember to focus my consciousness here, it never lets me down.

2. No circumstance, place or person is the Source of my Abundance. This is something that became part of my life paradigm when I was practicing John Randalph Price’s 40 Day Prosperity Plan, outlined in The Abundance Book.(Highly Recommended!) He writes as a Christian, but the principles are rich with the Universal Energy of Abundance. Number 5 has stuck with me: “Money is not my supply. No person, place or condition is my supply. My awareness, understanding, and knowledge of the all-providing activity of the Divine Spirit within me is my supply. My consciousness of this Truth is unlimited, therefore, my supply is unlimited.”

3. I’m on the right path, and the way will be provided.

4. Through life lessons, I’ve been so blessed to learn the definition of true abundance, manifestation and the law of attraction.

5. The vibration of my VERY THOUGHTS create my life!

6. Miracles ALWAYS occur to support my creative thoughts!

7. Staying in the energy of all of the above is the first, most important thing to DO.

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As I journaled, I felt wonderful energy flowing through me. 
I consciously breathed in that energy and circulated it through my entire being.
The more I kept breathing in the positive energy created by what I’d written, the more the good feelings took hold and the negative, painful feelings were flushed out.

Deep breathing is an important defense against negativity!

I consciously centered myself in that life-giving energy of creative growth, instead of the life-stunting energy of negativity, fear, and worry.

I refused to picture myself in lack.

I visualized myself in the energy of PROBLEM SOLVED, in WONDERFULLY ABUNDANT CIRCUMSTANCES!

Of course, there was challenge from the ever-fearful ego. The negativity wanted to hang on from yesterday, but it was NO MATCH for the faith energy I was focusing on and circulating.

I continued to adjust my focus, shifting my attention to the good stuff I’d written.
I journaled, “OH I’m So BLESSED!”

I realized how blessed I am to have a little coffee money to be able to sit in this ridiculously abundant coffee shop! It was all total luxury.

I felt so, SO BLESSED, to be able to turn my depression and discouragement into HOPE AND GRATEFULNESS.

As I was sitting in the coffee shop, in all that miraculous abundance, I thought crossed my mind…HOW DARE WE NOT? It’s a gift of being human that we can respond with positive creative energy to this incredible universe.

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How dare we not use our miraculous minds to make our lives better, to feel better, to create something better for ourselves? Yes, we all have struggles, I’m not saying that we just put on our rose-colored glasses, but it’s been said that if you have food in your fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you have more than 75% of the world.  

Our soul’s first, most pure desire is to be alive here, to be warm, fed, sheltered and loved, and if we have that, we’re living in luxurious abundance.

I felt again this essential self of me. I love her. She is resilient and capable. She’s awake and serving the world, grateful to be on this earth. She’s the best of me, the part of me that survived, then learned to thrive in this life. The one that never gave up.

The dream ignites in full fire again, and burns away doubt and discouragement.

Everything I need for my journey is already in place.

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MAYBE THIS IS THE STORY I SHOULD TELL

POSTED October 16th 2016

This is one of my most vulnerable posts. With all there is to discuss in the world today, it wasn’t the plan to share my personal story, but it wanted to be told. My hope is that my journey will somehow inspire your own! There’s also an addendum to the post which I’ve had to add for legal reasons.

The earth has been calling me to change my way of life. Held within that change is ecstasy and agony, evolution and grief, certainty and doubts, fears, questions, tears.

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Two years ago, after coming home from my family’s annual camping trip to our favorite Adirondack lake, I wrote in my journal, “If I could live this way, I’d be healed.”  

I’d had a flash of insight, one that would turn out to be a premonition.

A year after that trip, the premonition took hold.

In July of 2015, as I was heading home again from the annual Adirondack trip, I was consumed with a desire to live a full-time mobile life, on the road.

I felt called to explore the healing places of Mother Earth.

The dream wouldn’t leave me alone.

I began researching RV’s, watched countless videos, read articles, bought books, and soaked up information from bloggers and YouTubers, many of them single women like me, who were happily and heartily living the way of life I was suddenly craving. I discovered an entire mobile community across North America that had felt the same call.

At times the fire of my dream dimmed, and I’d settle back into the contentedness of my comfy, stationary life…questioning why I would ever want to leave it…and then the dream would catch fire again and ignite my soul.

In early 2016 I wrote,  “I still want to be on the road. I could explore the Adirondacks from Spring to fall. The first thing is to attain a good vehicle, a great vehicle, that is mine.” 

The Plan: find the right vehicle and convert it into a tiny RV, and there were abundant examples on the internet on how to do it.

In August 2016 I was still writing about it: “I love this place where I live, yet I feel such a restlessness. I want to just chuck it all and go. Is it the human spirit that wants to expand, grow, explore!?”

And then:

“I surrender. I let the universe open the way to my true path.”

Of course, letting go flips the “on” switch to manifesting our dreams.
Soon after writing that, I found the perfect vehicle, a roomy mini-van that’s still small enough for me to manage with the particular physical limitations of a chronic illness.

It was a miracle manifestation.

My dream now had wheels.

I  wrote about manifesting my vehicle in a blog about manifesting miracles. I wrote: “P.S. One of my BIG dreams is to live and travel full time on the road. The pull has become so strong that I’ve spent a year researching the lifestyle and the rigs. Let’s just say, if the perfect rig with the perfect financial circumstance came up…” 

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Just a few months ago, it still felt so distant.

I’m not even sure how this happened, but in the last few weeks, my dream has become a plan!

I’ll be on the road by this coming spring!

My daughter, who is totally supportive, recently said that my dream is crazy. Not in a bad way crazy, but out of the norm crazy.

Her sensible suggestion was to take a test spin, and sleep in the van.

I threw my air mattress in the back of the van and took an overnight trip to a secluded campsite.

It was there any lingering doubts finally fled. I was one with the trees, the earth, the sky, the wild that came to greet me.

I was home.

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It wasn’t perfect. It was agony and ecstasy. I gained useful information about what I’ll need to make the van livable…but it’s totally DO-ABLE. I can’t wait to get my rig tricked up!

I’ll even continue my coaching, Coach On The Road!

As with any change, it won’t be without its grief and letting go.

It will be a drastic change in my way of life, one that’s so far out of my hard-earned comfort zone that I’ve questioned my own sanity. I’ll be away from my family, my hearts, for months at a time.

It’s felt like an obsession.

I’ve been obsessed with other things in the past, relationships, sex, religion, perfectionism. This feels different. This feels like coming home to myself.

This time, I’m not changing myself for another person, religion, or societal image wanting to shape my identity.

This it isn’t to please anyone else. It only makes sense to me.

It looks crazy.

Maybe the true insanity is resisting what calls to us from the depths of our souls.



I’ll continue to keep you updated on the adventure!

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Important Addendum

I’m still several months out from these life changes, and as life always is, it’s been interesting. 

I’ve found that the semantics of describing my dream, and the pure logistics of the dream, can have some disconnect here in our physical world.  This post describes a lifestyle that escapes definition when it comes down to checkboxes on forms.  

Saying you’ll be living full time in a van, as I’ve described my plans in this post, equals homelessness as defined by this country. It’s all black and white on paper. If you’re living in a van, you’re homeless. Our identities are tracked by any number of agencies in this modern age, even more so when one is disabled and receiving government benefits, and my upcoming lifestyle change as I’ve described it here raises up all kinds of further questions. I thought about modifying the wording of this post, but I have nothing to hide and I’m doing exactly what I said I’d be doing. Luckily for me, I will not be homeless.

This coming Spring, I’ll be moving out of the cozy little apartment where I’ve lived alone for 7 years, and moving in with my oldest daughter and her family. This familial living situation is better for me financially and physically. This home will be my new home. My son-in-law will be converting my van, customizing it into a comfortable living space to accommodate me when I travel. For someone in my physical and financial condition, this allows me to follow my dream. While having a way to travel when the road calls me, I’ll still have a permanent stick and brick home to live.

I’m so blessed. I have faith. I have skills to navigate this confusing world. I’ve learned how to have joy, peace, faith and freedom.

I don’t know for sure what’s next, but my North Star is pulling me forward into a life I can now only imagine. I can’t wait to see it.

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How To Hang On To Your Sanity During Election Season

Posted October 1st 2016

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I’m not naive enough to think this election isn’t gravely important for many obvious reasons, but this year I vowed early on to keep politics out of my social media.That, with a few other practices, have kept me from going bug-fuck insane.

Even so, I found myself being drawn into the bipartisan division of us humans, feeling a separateness from the humans on the “other side,” and making character judgments based solely on political affiliations.

Boy was I in for a lesson.

My Aunt recently died, and I was headed downstate to stay with my cousin and her family.

To say my cousin’s and her husband’s political views are different than mine would be an understatement, and it had me little worried.

Here’s what happened.

I watched my cousin’s husband gently care for his family, quietly keeping the household on track behind the scenes, making us coffee and breakfast, uncomplaining while his wife directed the two-day production that is a Catholic Italian wake and funeral. My cousin was a rock, grieving her mother while acting as social director, event planner, and hostess for the whole shebang. She graciously provided a place for me to stay, while also providing sustenance for the multitudes of grieving friends and relatives. If you’ve ever been to an Italian Catholic wake and funeral, you know of what I speak.

It was humbling.

I saw two beautiful human beings moving through the heartbreak of those two days with a strength and grace that touched my heart. Their political affiliation was such a non-issue it could have been the difference between our opinion on crunchy or creamy peanut butter.

That brings me to our tips for surviving the election.

#1. We Are People, Not Political Parties.  (See above.)

While our political system benefits by keeping us in the illusion of separation, especially in what has to be one of the most controversial elections in our history, our political affiliation has nothing to do with who we are as humans.

Politics don’t exist where love, peace, and compassion has it’s home.

#2. Don’t Give In To Fear.

As a species, we’re in new territory. We now have a global economy, global terrorism, unprecedented population increases, an explosion of technological and scientific advances, instant connection to global information, and a propensity for global violence unmatched in our history.

It feels like we’re at a tipping point, like things are either going to get better, or get WAY worse, and every issue seems important to our survival.

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The worse thing about it all is that WE DON’T KNOW WHAT’S COMING. 

Our political parties benefit from that fear. Promising safety is a powerful aphrodisiac.

I’m not immune to the fear, but when I’m connected to my inner spirit, with awareness of universal energy flowing through me and around me, in touch with my essential wiser self, I know the future of our species isn’t dependent on who wins this election.

When I can I hold the uncertainty of life within my spirit, there’s a sense of a bigger, more complete and wondrous picture.

Life is complex and creative, striving toward growth, the real force that will keep us headed toward something better. 

#3. Find Your Peace.

The political process is a game of what if, projecting worse case scenarios into the future.

Stay mindful of whatever it is that brings you peace, of the present moment, of love, abundance, your higher power, higher self, Universe, God.

Shifting our own energy to the frequency of peace benefits the entire world. Our energy ripples out from us and affects the world in ways we can’t imagine, and there’s research that supports this.

Healing our own suffering brings healing to the world, and the most radical activism  we can practice is the ability to maintain our own peace.

#4. Make Hope a Practice.

Hope is the antidote to fear.

My hope is that the amazing potential of our species, the vast amount of goodness within human beings, will move us forward in our evolution.

There is an awakening happening, no doubt about it, and the tipping point of that awakening may change our future for the better.

Don’t underestimate spiritual activism, the power of prayer, meditation, and positivity.

#5. Be the change.

Mainstream media is designed to prey on our emotions, not appeal to our intellect.

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Refuse to contribute to the collective storytelling of fear. The level of anxiety is high in our country right now.

Be aware of current events, but be a force for positivity.

There’s evidence that humans are inherently good, focus on that. Feed your mind and soul with positive news. Stay grateful.

Limit the time you’ll spend each day on political news. I don’t know about you, but I know who I’m voting for, and there isn’t a debate, campaign ad, or breaking news that will change that now.

These practices don’t take away our compassion or prevent us from never acting in the name of justice and social equality, but while we’re being primed for the worst that could happen, is there room for a little faith that somehow we’ll be OK? 

“All of us have to become Buddhas in order for our planet to have a chance. Fortunately, we have the power to wake up, to touch enlightenment from moment to moment, in our very own ordinary and, yes, busy lives.”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

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Are You A Woman In Survival Mode? This May Be Just For You!

PUBLISHED SEPTEMBER 14TH, 2016

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Can you relate to this check-list?  

❑  You’ve had enough. You feel tired, stuck, and know there must be a better way.

❑  You know life is too short to spend in misery, and you’re ready to explore ways to find the health and happiness you’re missing out on.

❑  You’ve been feeling a calling for something more.

❑  You’re ready to commit to the focus and guidance you need to change things.

❑  You know if things don’t change, you might really lose it.

If you’ve checked off even one box, it’s my heart’s desire to help you. 

Your life can get better than you imagined. You can find peace, feel rested, joyful and loved on a regular basis.

It’s so possible.

I’ve been so many places as a woman, I’ve seen it, I’ve experienced it. I know it.

There were times I’d never believed it could be possible to get out of suffering. Relationship suffering. Career suffering. Family suffering. Spiritual suffering. Struggling to control my body and food. Wrecking my body with things that should have been good for me, like diet and exercise. Questioning my very worth as a human being. My role as a wife. As a Mother. As a friend. As a sexual being. You name it.

Now, all of that is better. Amazingly so.

I want you to feel better. About yourself. Your mind, soul, and body. About your life.

I know it’s possible for you to live joyfully without guilt.

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To have the energy to live your life and fill it with love. 

Sometimes we need help to get there.

Sometimes we don’t even know what we want, and we need help to figure that out.

I can help you with that.

I’m an Affordable Life Coach For Women.

If you’ve priced a Life Coach, you know they’re expensive. There are so many women out there who could really benefit from hiring a Life Coach, but don’t have the resources to hire one at the going rate of 100$, 200$, or more. Let’s face it, a good percentage of us are in the “disappearing middle-class,” including couples who struggle even with two incomes.

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When I got divorced, became a single Mom, working and raising two girls, I was struggling to afford good toilet paper, much less hire a Life Coach.  (Mom’s are statistically worse off financially then men after a divorce.)

It would have been great to have an affordable life coach in my corner during those times.

Can Life Coaching help you where YOU are?

Are you struggling with a decision?

Feeling lost, lonely, wondering what the fuck you’re doing with your life?

Are you ready to get out of the cycle of emotional pain, stress, and overwhelm, but you’re confused, frustrated and don’t know where to start?

I can help you. 

If you’re interested, you can find information on Affordable Life Coaching for Women on my website. If it calls to you, it’s easy to contact me there. Let’s set up a time to chat.

If you know a woman who’s struggling, who could really use some help, please forward this email to her. Let her know there’s hope.

If you’ve ever thought about working with me, take it a step further today. I promise I won’t push you into anything you don’t want.

You never know how good it can get!

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Feel the Fear, Then What? Also, Your Promised Update!

PUBLISHED SEPTEMBER 3RD, 2016

So THIS happened!!!!!!!

I’ve manifested my vehicle!

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I’ve finally Got My Wheels!!!!! 

But not before a BIG FAT DOSE of fear got ahold of me!

I made a public announcement in a previous newsletter to you that I’d set the intention to manifest a miracle. I wrote about it here, in Manifesting a Miracle – Six Steps To Manifesting Your Dreams, with a promise to keep you updated.

Getting back on the road is a big deal for a few reasons, including chronic illness that affected my ability to drive, and a divorce that took out my credit. (It’s true that women are often financially worse off after a divorce.)

Even though I knew I was ready, and was practicing the manifestation principles that I wrote about, the morning before I signed the final paperwork, I woke up at five-o’clock-anxiety-AM, flooded with worry. In those wee hours I worked and re-worked budgets, considered and reconsidered my options, and freaked the out. 

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Those were some really hairy moments. I’d finally found the perfect vehicle…THE ONE…but fear threatened to short-circuit the whole process. I even contemplated staying car-less.

I allowed my logical brain to keep trying to work out a rational decision, but I refused to give into fear. I pulled out my bag of tricks and worked to get out of its grip.

For two hours I focused on calm, deep breathing, consciously repeating reassuring statements to myself like this: “May you be safe. May you be well. May you live in joy and peace. All is well.”  (Find more information about this powerful practice in Martha Beck’s new book, Diana Herself: An Allegory of Awakening.) The fear came in waves, but each time I was able to calm my primitive fear brain, it allowed me to tap into my internal guidance system and higher wisdom.

Without fear to confuse me, the decision to make that vehicle mine felt clear, calm, and expansive in my body. 

Every one of us has this internal guidance system. How many times have you or someone else you know said something like, “I had a gut feeling? I just KNEW it?” Or, “I should have listened to that inner voice!” Our innate wisdom is unfailing, but it can also be subtle. How many times do we second guess those quiet little messages!

The decision made absolutely NO SENSE. I could have chosen a smaller vehicle with better gas mileage and a lower car payment, but this wonderful, magical, vehicle was like a magnet, PULLING me to have it in my life.

Following our dreams sometimes looks crazy, but sometimes crazy is right and sensible is the illusion. I knew in my heart, gut, and soul that I was going in the right direction. 

When I was overwhelmed with fear, I just wanted someone to tell me what to do, but none of us has a crystal ball. Not one that tells the future anyway. In the end, we just have to have to know there are no right or wrong decisions, it’s all experience for us and our growth.

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Anytime we have a major decision to make…”should I stay or should I go, is this job right for me, should I take this risk”…REMEMBER THAT FEAR IS A TERRIBLE ADVISOR. 

Fear is noisy and distracting and doesn’t care about our dreams. It only wants to maintain the status quo and keep us from danger.

Fear doesn’t mean you’re going the wrong way.

When you’re in fear, take deep breaths and quiet your mind until it lets go. Don’t make a decision based on fear.

Follow what pulls you like a magnet. Stay with the magic of what lights you up inside.

Have the courage to take the leap, even when it looks totally crazy.

What if we lived our whole lives like this? Just imagine what we could do!

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CELEBRATION AND UPDATE!

PUBLISHED AUGUST 17TH, 2016

Hello my faithful reader!

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I’m celebrating today! Join me won’t you? Raise a glass! 

After a long sabbatical due to chronic illness, this past year I’ve been blessed with a reprieve and today is my launch day!

I’M RE-OPEN FOR BUSINESS!

Anyone who knows me understands what an important day this is for me and what a long road it’s been to get here. I AM SO EXCITED TO BE HERE! I knew this day was coming but didn’t expect the energy of it to feel so GREAT! Dancing to Madonna here! 🙂 It also feels sacred, a re-committing to my path, and it feels fun, there’s good stuff ahead!

I founded my Life Coaching business 6 years ago, with my heart on fire to help women. I was just ending Martha Beck Life Coach Training, and the universe conspired to end my 20-year employment at Planned Parenthood. The local affiliate restructured and I suddenly found myself without a job! It was totally unexpected magic, and I went with it!

Those 20 years working with, and for, women at Planned Parenthood gave me a unique view of women’s lives, their lives, struggles, hopes, and despair. Women would share their lives in the safe environment Planned Parenthood provided and I listened to those women every day. I also worked with a stunning variety of strong, amazing women in those 20 years, and that with my thousands of hours helping women, beautifully prepared me to be a Women’s Life Coach.

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When I opened my own Life Coaching business, I LOVED it. I felt I’d finally found my purpose. What’s that saying? Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans?

Within a few years of starting my business, the chronic illness I was dealing with began to progress, and I steadily declined as the Doctors scratched their heads. I  progressed to the point of being almost bedridden with muscle dysfunction and cognitive problems, among many other symptoms. It affected my ability to write or to hold conversations without collapsing, and I had to stop coaching and writing. It broke my heart.

There were some dark days in those years, but something within me refused to give in. Along with dark days there were many more good days. I learned I was loved no matter what, that if I trusted, the universe would step up and respond with care, and how to receive with grace and gratitude. I kept self-coaching, meditating, and growing. I finally realized yes, it was important to serve, but the lesson was that my own healing had to take priority. I’d already done so much healing in my adult years, with depression, anxiety, co-dependancy, unhealthy relationships and body image, and I felt like I’d come so far. My soul knew there was more.

In 2014 I had a collapse so severe that for the first time, I went to the ER. It devastated me, and I started questioning whether it was worth living like that. I can’t say I was suicidal, but the thought scared the crap out me. I found a great therapist to help cope with chronic illness.  Together we discovered layers of trauma that I’d never identified, using a trauma release treatment called EMDR. I finally released trauma I’d been holding since I was a little girl.

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During that time I gave up on Western medicine, which you can read about here. I started using essential oils topically and diffused them in my environment.I’d already learned to pace and radically rest, which I believe is one of the fundamental keys to healing, but I began a deeper practice of self-love and self-care. I practiced consciously loving every part of my body, from inside to outside, each body part, organ, and cell. I meditated on my body, listening to what it had to say, putting my hands on my body and giving it Reiki, every day. Over a period of several weeks I went through my entire body with that practice, and I still include part of the practice in my self-care routine. 

I don’t know if those changes were the turning point, but about a year ago I started improving.  I’m not fully functioning like a “normal” person, but I can write, converse, socialize, go shopping and life coach without knocking out my body and mind. I’ll never take walking for granted again!

So now, HERE I AM!

I’ve not only built this website, I’ve updated my business and I’m ready to serve my amazing tribe of women!

What I’ve been through in the past years has just made me an even better life coach, and I’m now available for a few women who are ready to get down to work and dig in.

I work with women experiencing a variety of issues, including:

Life Transitions/Divorce/Change

Stress/Burnout/Time Management

Work/Life/Family Balance

Relationship Issues

Health Issues/Chronic Illness

Self-Love/Self-Esteem

Body Image Issues

Sexuality/LGBTQ

If you’ve ever considered hiring me as your Life Coach, now’s the time! Go here for your next steps. If it’s money holding you back, please contact me. Part of my mission is to help ALL women, and we’ll figure it out.

Thanks for being here and please let me know if there’s any way I can help you!


UPDATE ON MANIFESTING!

If you read my last newsletter, you know I’m manifesting a vehicle. (read here for that story and to learn 6 Steps To Manifesting Your Dreams. I’ll be sure to let you know as soon as it’s here!
Here are some things that I’ve noticed as focus on manifesting.

1. I’m still ambivalent. I’ve been waffling on purchasing a car, minivan or cargo van. A minivan or cargo van is closer to fulfilling my road trip dreams but for a few days, I was so frustrated I just wanted to get any wheels at all…I’m so OVER not having a vehicle! Every time I notice these thoughts I repeat, “I’m now manifesting my own vehicle.”

2. I have to keep reminding myself to make sure my language matches my intention! I’ve caught myself saying out loud that I NEED A VEHICLE. If you read my last article, you’ll know why that will short circuit good manifesting vibes!

3. I’m finding my challenges in the 6 Steps To Manifesting Your Dreams are: Step #1. Get Crystal Clear, Step #2. Resolve Conflicting Thoughts, and especially Step #6. Let Go!

Writing that article has helped me notice how my mind works when I’m trying to manifest a dream.

I’ll keep you updated!

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I’m Manifesting A Miracle! – Six Steps To Manifesting Your Dreams

PUBLISHED AUSUST 2ND, 2016

I’m manifesting a miracle.

I am manifesting my own vehicle.
Timeline: NOW.

A few summers ago I lost my ability to drive, and sadly gave up my beloved Jeep.

I’m grateful for the volunteers graciously carting me around, but it’s just not the same as having my own wheels.

Now, after a wonderful partial recovery from chronic illness, I can drive again! (For the record, when I was officially disabled 6 years ago I could drive. I’m still technically disabled.)

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I’m craving re-engagement with the outside world. 

It’s time to be mobile again!

A miracle is just something that looks impossible, so here’s where the miracle comes in.

I live in abundance every day, but divorce and disability has left my credit score less than optimal. (#understatement)

This is where the rubber meets the road … if you’ll excuse my pun.

I talk a big game about trusting the Universe, that the Universe has our back, and that if we stay in the energy of abundance and faith, we open pathways for miracles.

So now, I’m going public sharing this manifesting miracle with you. I have to tell you; it’s pretty fucking scary for this introverted, perfectionist, codependent, approval-seeker.

I know I can’t just sit here on my couch and have my vehicle appear in the driveway. (Although knowing how the Universe loves joy, you never know!)

There are steps to this manifesting thing.

#1. Get Crystal Clear About Your Dream, and Write it Down.

I manifested my cozy living space by making a list of everything I was looking for in an apartment. One entry was, “a big enough kitchen.”

Here’s how it works though, the kitchen is big enough…for one person!

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The underlying fabric of the Universe is precisely mathematical, like a computer. Be exact when you enter your program code.

Avoid future language or your dreams will always be off in the future! Instead of writing,“I will have my dream vacation,” write, “I am now manifesting my two-week vacation trip to Hawaii for August 2016.”

Also, avoid the words want or need.Repeatedly saying we want or need something will just attract more want and need!

When I could drive again, I kept saying, “I need a car.” I did manifest a car!  My daughter and I recently arranged that I’d borrow her van once a week to pick up our farm share at the local farmer’s market and run my errands.

I laughed realizing the Universe had provided exactly what I’d asked for. I’d manifested a vehicle all right, just not my own! And I still “need” a car, which I manifested by repeatedly saying I need a car.

#2. Resolve Conflicting Thoughts.

To be honest, I still have some lingering ambivalence. While losing my freedom has sucked, not having a car payment and other vehicle expenses has been great. It’s had me wavering.

That kind of ambivalent, hesitant or indecisive energy halts manifestation. I’ll be working on that.

The trick is to hold the dream in your mind, without “what if this, what if that, what if I can’t,”

#3. Consciously Activate Faith.

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I’m opposed to having my gas lights turned off, so I’m consciously focusing on abundantly affording the vehicle.

I’m taking life coaching clients again, so that could do it.

I DON’T HAVE TO KNOW THE DETAILS TO HAVE FAITH THAT IT WILL HAPPEN.

I trust the Universe will provide the way.

Doing my monthly budget today I felt the constricting energy of fear and worry creeping in. Writing this blog has been a perfect reminder to choose faith. When I remembered to trust that the conditions are already here to manifest my miracle, I felt expansive and light.

#4. Stay in the Energy of Abundance, Not Obstacles.

Let yourself have a fun daydream about what you desire. Use all of your senses to imagine it as reality. Feel it in your body and emotions.

This abundant feeling is the energy that will attract your dream!

Stay focused on this instead of dwelling on all the reasons it can’t be done.

Focusing on obstacles blocks manifestation, and  hinders our ability to be co-creators with the Universe.

Even if we don’t believe in the law of attraction or Universal support, we limit our energy for creative problem solving in that state of mind.

#5. Take Action

While I believe it IS possible that my vehicle could miraculously appear, I’m still taking action.

Start with making a list of every small step that will move you towards your dream. On the left side of a piece of paper, draw a box. In the box write your current circumstances. On the right side of the paper, draw another box and write in your goal. Now starting from the left and working to the right, chart each baby step to get to your goal. A baby step could be as simple as a phone call.

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Taking action, however small, is like throwing a tiny pebble into a lake, causing bigger and bigger ripples of forward momentum!

You can use this process with any dream. Martha Beck coaches call BIG dreams W.I.G.s … Wildly Improbable Goals.

I unexpectedly manifested my Life Coaching business in two weeks when I did the above chart in Life Coach Training!

#6. Let Go!

Follow all the previous steps, and then let it all go! Expect manifestation, but keep your energy light. Let go of doing it right and have fun with the process!

Disclaimer: Sometimes the Universe has something even better in store for us than what we’re imagining. Our dreams sometimes lead us to places we’d never dreamed of!

I’ll keep you in the loop, and in the meantime, I welcome good vibes towards manifesting my miracle!

P.S. One of my BIG dreams is to live and travel full time on the road. The pull has become so strong that I’ve spent a year researching the lifestyle and the rigs. Let’s just say, if the perfect rig with the perfect financial circumstance came up…

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The Two Wolves Within Us – Peace And Violence – Which Will We Choose To Feed?

PUBLISHED JULY 20TH, 2016

I recently overheard this conversation:

First person: I’m going to attack you!
Second person: I beat you!
First person: No! I beat you!
Second person: I win! I thought I was going to lose!
First person: You need to start fighting me. I’m going to be stronger than you!. It’s a KO! (knock-out)
Would it surprise you to know this took place between two kids?
You may have guessed it…this conversation centered around a video game.

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The game’s graphics looked age appropriate, but the language and images promoted the energy of fighting, battling, competition, killing and winning, all in exciting colors and detail. (We’ve come a long way from Super Mario.) I checked in with the kids, and they confirmed, yes, we’re trying to kill each other. It bothered me that there was no context, no story of good vs. evil or moral victories, like Star Wars or Superheroes. It was just gratuitous violence.

As they played, tension rose. There was more and more jockeying to outdo the other, with grabbing and escalating voices, until the inevitable melt-down. Sound familiar? Replace the kids with lethally armed adults, and you’ve got wars, terrorism, protests ending in killings, and civil servants losing their shit.

Watching this exchange made me think about how normalized violence is in our culture and how much of it we’re exposed to every day.

The kids weren’t just engaged in the game. They were engaged with each other, looking at each other, talking to each other, being physical with each other in the same violent energy of the game.

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In our culture, we’re imprinting our children’s impressionable young brains with violence.

By the time we’re of age, we’re desensitized enough to witness multiple graphic images of violence every day without batting an eye. How much harder would it be to build a military, or to pull out a weapon of any kind and kill for ANY reason, if we weren’t so desensitized?

I may have this all wrong, I don’t know, but don’t tell me that it’s just a harmless kid’s game unless you have some reputable sources of information to share with me. I’m open.

We desire peace, but we’re allowing war in our homes and our minds. In our children’s minds.

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Peace is boring. Just look how people react to Mr. Rogers, who taught non-violence to children. He’s considered boring, comical, dorky.

I don’t for a minute believe that violent video games are the cause of violence in the world, or that all conflict or competition is inherently bad for us. But overexposure to violence is certainly desensitizing us.

These kids have great parents who teach them compassion, empathy, boundaries, love…all the qualities we want to see in the world. Chances are those qualities will outweigh all the violence they’re consuming, but desensitization to violence will have a hand shaping their lives.

I’d be a hypocrite if I didn’t admit I’m just as much a part of it as anyone. I’m sensitive to images of extreme violence, but my Netflix viewing isn’t violent free.

Violence is seductive. It’s addictive. It’s exciting. Violent energy fascinates us…that’s why it’s such a pervasive industry.

I don’t know the answer, but I’m convinced we have both the capacity for peace and violence within us.

Like the story of the two wolves within us, which will we choose to feed?

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DOES POSITIVE THINKING REALLY HELP YOU?

PUBLISHED JULY 6TH, 2016

Positive thinking seems to be getting a bad rap lately. To be honest, this irritates me. I’m a fan of positive thinking…yet I feel irritated? That’s not very positive.

I recently watched a Youtube video that described positive thinking as an evil new age plot. (not kidding) The ranting creator of the video accuses positive thinkers of participating in a  plot to keep corrupt systems in power, which they unwittingly do by ignoring negative events.

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Another video recently crossed my Facebook feed exclaiming, “Discover The Truth About PositiveThinking… the truth about positive thinking exposed.” SO irritating. The two-minute video, taking research out of context, said, “people who suppress negative emotions, pretending to be cheerful, still displayed high limbic activity, (in the emotional center of the brain) and at times faking happiness increased stress.” It discredited affirmations, again quoting a “shocking study” saying, “affirmations backfire in most cases…unless you already believe the statement.” For the record, that’s stating the obvious.

Suppressing negative emotions, pretending to be cheerful, and faking happiness IS NOT POSITIVE THINKING. At ALL.

Also, Positive thinking is not the same thing as an affirmation. An affirmation is “a statement or proposition that is declared to be true.”(Dictionary.com) An affirmation is NOT by default a positive thought. For example, repeating, “the world sucks,” again and again is an affirmation. By comparison, positive thinking would be finding something GOOD in the world and keeping our mind focused on that.

Years ago my mind was so stuck in negativity that I lived in a constant state of fear.

After reading The Secret, I started fooling around with abundance thoughts, practicing the law of attraction as described in the book. At first, I was excited that it did seem to work, but something else even more unexpected happened. I began feeling better.

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I discovered that choosing positive thoughts short-circuited habitual negative thinking. I became a more positive person, quite a feat for someone who’d made complaining an Olympic sport. My “happiness set-point” went up. Not long after that, Martha Beck Life coaching came into my life…where I learned about positive thinking on steroids.

After years of fine tuning, I’m still no poster child for positive thinking. I get overwhelmed, stressed and irritated on the regular. Every time those feelings come up, I consciously practice the tools I’ve learned, including positive thinking, so negativity doesn’t take over my mind, and life.

Positive thinking isn’t about suppressing our vast range of feelings or ignoring emotional wounds.

It isn’t about ignoring human tragedy or allowing injustice to continue just because we don’t want negative thoughts in our minds.

Positive thinking isn’t about ignoring the negative.

Healing “negative” feelings requires the absolute opposite of ignoring them. Awareness is the first step to healing, and from that state of awareness we can begin to choose thoughts that support us. Instead of “The world is frightening” we can choose,”Today I’m grateful for the many expressions of love in the world.”

You can experience the benefits of this right now. Say the above statements, one at a time, and notice how you feel in your body after saying each one.

Positive thinking changes our brain, benefits our body and increases overall well-being.

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Positive thinking creates mindfulness, which better equips us to navigate this crazy ride called life.

It’s about shifting our focus to find what’s good in ourselves, in others, in the world, and making that our reality.

Positive thinking is about choice, and choice leads to empowerment.

True positive thinking dissolves fear. It’s oppositional. Without fear, your mind is your own.

Positive thinking is a superpower that can not only change your life, it can transform the world…for the better.

It’s advanced learning on this planet school called Earth, and we’re all welcome to join. 

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THE WORLD NEEDS YOUR UNIQUE EXPRESSION OF LOVE TODAY!

PUBLISHED JUNE 22ND, 2016

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We need all expressions of love in our world today.

The events of the past month have left us all emotionally reeling, from the tragic loss of human lives in a hate crime to the vicious physical degrading of one human being by another. It’s almost too much to bear. Throw in a historic election year, and the deluge of stress is monstrous.

As I watched the news of human suffering develop into polarized issues, I began feeling guilty for not joining the activists. Gun control was a hot topic, and although it seems like a pretty good idea to get the most dangerous weapons out of the hands of the most dangerous humans, I didn’t voice my opinion.

Not engaging on social media over these events may make me appear detached, but nothing is farther from the truth.

My first reaction to the horrible events was shock and horror.

My second reaction was to sink into Spirit. An almost involuntary wave of love, healing, and light pulsed out from my center, along with a prayer that the living would find healing, and that the souls passing from the world in such a violent manner would find their way to peace.

We’re diverse in our reactions to human tragedy. Some will feel the call to do Spirit work behind the scenes while some will get fired up to act in the world. Both are equally valid.

As we continue to evolve in our acceptance of diversity, it’s important to recognize how diverse we are in the way we bring
healing to the world
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Some are meant to be activists.

Some are meant to be prayer warriors.

Some are meant to hold space for the suffering.

Some are meant to love their neighbor.

Some are meant to care for those left behind.

Some are meant to make us think.

Some are meant to be spiritual guardians.

Some are meant to ask for help.

Some are meant to activate love.

Each one of us has a gift that can heal the world.

Changing the world starts with caring for the humans in our own back yards, as fully as we can. Not just family or close friends, but the neighborhood of suffering human beings that we pass by every day as we go about our daily business.

Our open and vulnerable hearts can change the world.

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There’s no question that we, as humans, are becoming aware of the need to be caring neighbors to each other, locally and globally.

For whatever reason, our experience on this plane of existence includes the energy of love and the energy of hate. Just as we can’t bring a handful of darkness into a lighted room and make it dark, a handful of hate can’t extinguish the blazing love in our world.

Let’s keep the faith that love and light will eventually flood our world.

Practice your gifts in the name of love.

Be an activist in the name of love.

Pray in the name of love.

Meditate in the name of love.

Most importantly, be a human, wife, husband, parent, sister, brother, lover, friend, neighbor, all in the name of love.

The light of love can heal pain and fear.

Heal your own pain in the name of love. There is nothing more important for the healing of our world.

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ARE YOU BLOCKING YOUR ABUNDANCE BY NOT RECEIVING?

PUBLISHED JUNE 10TH, 2016

Do you know someone who constantly gives, seemingly with no thought of themselves? They come through for the needy, look out for their fellow humans, and pride themselves on helping out, whether it’s money, time or caring? You may even recognize yourself. Women, especially, are taught to be caregivers, and to sacrifice their own needs for the comfort of everyone around them.

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Helping out our fellow humans is part of the beautiful cooperation that serves the evolution of life itself, and life flourishes when there’s a balance of give and take.

Like the inhale and exhale of our breath, healthy abundance is created when there’s a flow of both giving and receiving.

If we only give, without also receiving, we’re starving the very life force of abundance.

We’ve been taught to take pride in independence from the time we’re born, to chase that cultural paradigm of success. The goal is to never experience lack, to constantly strive to have enough, and to do anything we can to circumvent the shame of asking for help.

The problem with that is we aren’t meant to always stand alone. In our best moments, human beings are a cooperative species.

For some, it’s actually painful to be seen, even by themselves, as anything less than a perfectly functioning human being.

If we’re always giving, yet insist on struggling on alone with our own burdens, we’re denying our very humanness. Disowning this part of our humanity deprives us of the vulnerable and intimate act of allowing ourselves to be truly known, needs and all.

The universe loves and supports us through what is right in front of us.

If we’re refusing offers of help, tolerating a situation that could be improved by asking for support, or have an inability to graciously receive financial, physical or emotional generosity, we’re telling the universe to back off, and blocking the flow of abundance into our life.

When we do that, we’re not just rejecting help from our fellow humans, we’re outright saying no to the abundance that flows to us through our everyday experiences.

I’ve been in that lonely place. I was fiercely independent and abhorred asking for help.

Then I became ill. I found myself unable to work, bank account empty, and struggling to physically function. My independent identity collapsed, and I was forced to learn how to ask for help.

Not knowing how I was going to meet basic needs, I made a conscious decision to trust that the universe would have my back, and to practice gracious and grateful receiving.

The Universe Will Find the Easiest Path to Reach Us With Abundance. 

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I noticed that whenever I had a need, whether physical, financial or emotional, it was often met through unexpected support from my fellow humans. No matter how big or small the gesture, I celebrated it as a miracle!

It’s still a learning process, but that practice of grateful receiving changed my life.

By receiving  joyously, we invite abundance.

If you recognize yourself as a compulsive giver, watch your energy the next time you’re in a position to receive.

Can you receive with the same positive energy in which you give? If you feel resentment or shame rising, try shifting your focus to the expansive energy of gratitude.

Asking for help and receiving graciously takes strength and a sureness of soul.

Being attached to the story of being a giver makes it almost impossible to receive unconditionally, without feeling obligated to give back. Try to graciously receive unconditional support as a gift from the universe!

If you’re used to being the giver, it can feel upsetting to be in a place of need. It’s easy to think that we have nothing left to give, (never true) or we should be able to do more, (also not true). By telling stories of lack, we end up creating more lack in our life.

Abundance is an energy state, independent of the illusion of physical reality.

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Make if a habit to savor the feeling of receiving. Receive with joy everything that delights your senses, the beauty of a sunset, the aroma of your favorite flower, the hugs of a loved one. When something shows up for us, remember to receive it with mindful thankfulness.

If you find yourself in need, practice knowing that your needs are met. This is a state of faith, of knowing without knowing how. Stay in thankfulness, and be ready to receive. No worry. No grasping. Relax.

When you receive, feel joy in the way the universe has creatively met your need. Express thanks.

Be surprised, be excited, be joyful. Be like the child that takes pleasure in receiving the littlest things, without judgment. This is the energy of abundance.

Ask, receive, and accept, with joy and gratefulness!

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WILL ACTIVISM SAVE OUR WORLD? MAYBE NOT.

PUBLISHED MAY 25, 2016

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If you’re an activist of any kind you know what it feels like to be on fire for a cause. Activists have the burning hearts of visionaries and rebels,
foreseeing a better future while mounting protests in the present.

Without activism, women would still be suffering as second class citizens who couldn’t vote, whose only rights were wifely duties and bearing as many children as possible, usually until dying from exhaustion. Without activists, there would be no civil rights movement, animal rights, environmental causes, and others too many to list.

Activism is born out of injustice and suffering, and the world today is in dire need.

Although our modern activism is necessary at times, as we evolve into a more activated consciousness, there is another kind of activism that needs to arise. Our modern day activism can change systems, but it’s the collective consciousness of the world that must ultimately evolve.

Radical activism starts with our own healing.

“Be the change” is not just an overused cliché.

If we aren’t at peace with ourselves, how will we ever bring peace to the world?

If we continue to allow our own suffering, how will we teach the world healing?

If we’re only at peace on the meditation pillow, what conflicting energy are we birthing into the rest of our life?

If we’re suffering, stressed or exhausted, it’s a clear signal for self-healing, and when we’re activists for ourselves, our own healing becomes our cause.

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The most radical activism is the ability to maintain our own peace while looking into the face of suffering in the world.

That doesn’t mean we don’t have compassion or never act in the name of justice and social equality, but motivations can be messy.

Are we engaged in positive activism or negative activism?

Negative activism is driven by fear. Fear says, if we don’t do it, it won’t get done. If it doesn’t get done, we’re all doomed. It says we must sacrifice ourselves, that it’s selfish to not act when the world is such a mess.

Negative activism can show up as an unconscious addiction to adrenalin, anger, perfectionism or self-righteousness. Judging others who refuse to join our cause can be a potent ego boost that distracts us from dealing with our own issues. If our family of origin made us feel our worthiness was based on being perfect or productive, it can be a deeply ingrained way of being.

This kind of negative activism not only distracts us from facing our own, sometimes painful, inner truth, it’s harmful to our health.

It’s time to be radical activists for ourselves.

We’re radical activists for ourselves when we give our own healing the same devotion that we’d give to an outside cause. With stress-related pain, exhaustion, and illness at all-time highs, it’s urgent that we begin this healing. Our minds and bodies are crying out with the truth.

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We must honestly ask, are we seeing the peace we want to see in the world in our own immediate reality?
Is the love and healing we want for the world manifesting in our own minds and bodies?

It’s Powerful Activism for humanity when we’re able to hold focused space for our own healing, for days, weeks, or even years.

We practice Healing Activism when our relationship with ourselves is one of willingness and love, instead of control and perfectionism.

We practice Conscious Activism when we decide, every day, to direct our attention to the good and beauty in the world, more than the suffering.

We practice Loving Activism when we can stand confidently in our own peace, and offer healing, non-judgmental energy to the next person we encounter.

We practice Spiritual Activism when we can hold space for the suffering in the world while having faith that the magnificent universe, constantly moving toward growth and life, always finds a way forward in the larger plan of our collective awakening.

This quiet, behind the scenes activism, is sacred.

Radical activism for our own healing brings healing to the world.

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For All the Imperfect, F–cked Up Mothers on Mother’s Day.

PUBLISHED MAY 8TH, 2016

I have mixed feelings about Mother’s day.
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There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t give thanks for the two grown daughters that have forgiven their imperfect mother for her mistakes. They’ve grown into the human beings that I could barely dare hope for during their tumultuous childhood. If you’re raising your kids in a challenging environment, I can tell you, hang on to hope. 

I grew up as they grew up, working through the layers of dysfunction and trauma I’d inherited.

My matriarchal lineage is a long line of strong stoic women. My Grandmother was nicknamed the sergeant, and my mother, although she mellowed as she got older, followed in her footsteps. None of us are the stereotypical warm, nurturing, cookie baking mamas, but we sure as hell teach our kids how to speak their minds. All of us are examples of a woman’s inner strength that can carry a family through fiery hells.

Not to say there isn’t love in our lineage. There’s a fierce love, but it usually simmers beneath the surface of stoicism. We don’t have an outwardly sentimental love, but something else more real, and unbreakable, a tangible force field of love that bonds us together. We all have fierce hearts for each other.

My grown daughters are parents now. I sit in the middle of the generations, with the experience and memories of my grandmother and mother on one side, and my daughters and their children on the other. At my vantage point I can see four generations of mothering.

I can see they’re better than me. I’m better than my mother. We’re all learning.

What our family lineage does have is the Mother Spirit.
Mother Spirit is the goddess energy of Motherhood, of mother love that extends beyond the frail human ego. Even in our brokenness, our failures, our faults, we go on mothering. We stay, even if it sometimes feels like we’ve been swallowed up in our own pain, and we’re only there in spirit. Each child comes to know this. We come to know the love that was always there, in spite of the imperfect human woman that carried within her the flame of the perfect Mother Spirit.

It isn’t often that a woman bears a child and has no Mother Spirit, but I’ve seen it. You can fuck up a lot as a mother if you have the Mother Spirit. Motherlove is carried through that spirit no matter how much we fuck up. Most of us have it. I’ve seen it.

Looking from my (older and wiser?) vantage point here’s what I believe about Motherhood.

1. You will fuck up. How you handle your fuck-ups is more important than the fuck up. Your children will learn about being human, about forgiveness, how to handle failure and how to cope with this sometimes fucked-up life.

2. If you’re questioning whether you’re a good parent, then it’s pretty much a given that you already are.

3. There’s no possible way your children will escape their childhood unscathed. You will somehow fuck them up and pass down issues. It’s inevitable.

4. Knowing that, know also, that it’s not your fault. We’re all human, none of really know what we’re doing, and in the bigger picture, there’s a divine plan for each human that we’re really only a small part of.

If you have the mother spirit, you have enough. The rest of it is just extra. No human being comes into this world to perfect parents, it’s not even supposed to work that way. Children have their own path to follow, it’s usually nothing that we’ve planned, and sometimes they choose the hard way. That’s never on us.

The irony of our biology is that evolution, the forces that be, had to choose between stamina and wisdom when it came to how we would raise our progeny and perpetuate the species. Everything in our biology drives us to have children when we’re young, before we have the wisdom of hindsight. It almost seems cruel.

It’s the elders that carry the wisdom, that tell us that nothing is as important as we think it is in the moment. That our guilt is poison. That love is the energy that raises our kids, not anything we do or say.

I still struggle looking back. It’s an almost painful yearning at times to want to go back with the wisdom I have now. It’s just not the way.

On this Mother’s Day, give yourself a break. Let go of guilt. Relax. Nothing you do, don’t do, or did, is as important as the love you carry in your heart for your children.

More importantly, learn to love and forgive yourself. Of all the things you ever do as a parent, that will be the greatest lesson, and the greatest gift, you’ll ever give.

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It’s Time to Reclaim Your Soul and Reinvent Your Life!

PUBLISHED APRIL 27TH, 2016


Hello Dear reader. Thank you for joining me!
In this week’s blog I share a little secret about one of my own reinventions!

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We hear it in the quiet hours before dawn, as we toss and turn, still awake. A little voice surfaces in those silent moments, and whispers to us, “there’s something more.” It’s insistent, this voice of our soul, calling us to life.

Is this happening to you?

You might be struggling in an unhappy marriage, a job that’s sucking the life out of you, or worse.

It could be you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed.

You may even feel your sanity is at stake.

For many of us, this is a calling to reinvent our lives.

There’s a shift happening, and I see it regularly in my own little corner of the universe.

I know a woman who, for 20 years, dabbled with writing a book. Busy with everything and everyone else, her dream book remained unfinished. Until recently. Hearing a call she couldn’t ignore, she not only finished and published her book, but went on to write and publish 8 more! She told me it wasn’t just about writing, she was determined to reinvent her life. Reaching out to the local arts community, she now thrives in a circle of creatives. She’s even had a book signing!

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Another woman spent years chasing one unhealthy relationship after another. After yet another heart wrenching breakup, she started working with a life coach. While doing her inner work she found happiness in her singlehood. After spending some time on her own healing, she attracted a loving partner, bought her dream house, and got engaged. When she became her own committed partner, the right one came along!

Then there’s the professional, a wife and mom who became unwilling to tolerate toxic job environments. The last straw was a manager that demanded she sacrifice her home life, with no leeway for sick time with her child. She left that job, and with her formidable business skills founded her own company. She now offers professional support and guidance to other business owners,  fulfilling her dream of being a Mom and a businesswoman, without sacrificing herself or her family.

For all of these women there was no safety net, just the courage to follow a calling to reinvent themselves.

I’m no stranger to reinvention.

I’ve married and divorced twice, been a single Mom, involved in a Christian cult, born again, and then pagan. I was a sexual swinger with my second husband. (A story for another time.) He turned out to be a full blown covert narcissist. (Boy did I miss…ahem…ignore…those warning signs)

I lost almost 100 pounds to become sexually attractive. I was also a perfectionist, caretaker, co-dependent…and dealing with debilitating bouts of depression, anxiety and shame.

In a backward kind of way, those experiences helped me get closer to my true self, by showing me who I’m NOT.

All of those identities defined me from the outside.

I craved external validation, but it became painfully unbearable. I felt like my soul was invisible.

The only thing I really knew was that I could no longer tolerate a life that felt unbearable, just to be nice, or safe, or approved of.

Living an authentic life is no joke. The day I left my second husband, my heart was pounding out of my chest.

Your inner wisdom will lead you there, but you might find yourself wandering into the dark jungle at times. I’ve been there.

Every woman has an inner warrior ready to lead her though that jungle.

Every woman. Yes. You.

The ego will show us any number of horror stories. 

You’ll be destitute. You’ll be alone. You’ll loose it all. You’re wrong.”

I had to learn to sort out my inner truth from the terrified ego voice.

I had to learn to challenge the thoughts and beliefs that had kept me living in pain, in my marriage, my work, my sexuality.

As I reinvented myself, the universe always had my back.

The more faith I had in that, the more I experienced it.

Every step has been worth it. My life is my own. Joy and healing is abundant. I live for myself. My worth isn’t based on my weight or sexuality. My caring comes from compassion, not codependency. I’ll admit, I still need validation, but the more I heal, the less it runs my life.

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Our desire for something more is sacred. 

Reinvention is born from within.

Give yourself time for self reflection. Journal. Seek solitude. Find a way to listen to that inner voice that says there’s got to be something more to your life.

If you don’t know where to start, find a life coach or therapist that can help.

As you reinvent yourself, you’ll actually find yourself.

Believe me. You will.

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Life Is Too Short To Skip Self-Care

PUBLISHED APRIL 12TH, 2016

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After a night of tossing and turning the night before my birthday, I woke up grumpy and emotional. At age 57, I felt myself sinking into the what-have-I-done-with-my-life blues.  

I finally pulled myself out of it, quite an accomplishment, considering my past history. The occasional blues are a natural part of life, but for me, often spiraled into more serious depression.

My self-care now includes knowing how to ride out the blues.

Self-care is soul care.

When our soul’s desires are out of sync with our daily life, we feel like crap. This can manifest as physical or emotional pain, exhaustion, or even chronic illness.

Self-care, the ACTION of self-love, isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity.

The following are five more ideas for self-care, continued from 10 tips for 10 minutes of self-care.

1. Practice procrastination. Yes, for sure, we can’t just let things go to shit, but in this case, procrastinating is a good thing. So many women choose to push themselves to do everything, instead of getting the rest they so desperately need.

Stop using your to-do list as a torture device. The urgency to finish our to-do list is often self-inflicted pressure, like perfectionism. Most of us are unrealistic about what we can accomplish in a day. Here’s a fantastic article on managing a to-do list without the torture, including the 1-3-5 rule.

2. Give yourself a 10 minute mini vacation. Allow yourself to stop reviewing your life, just for a few minutes.Your mind will try to pull your attention to everything that needs to get done, so reassure your thinking brain you’ll be back soon. Let yourself feel that.  Breathe deeply and imagine your favorite nature spot. Gently tell any intrusive thoughts, “I’ll get back to you.” This turns off the part of the brain that makes everything feel urgent.

The brain uses 20 percent of the body’s total energy, more than any other organ! If we’re overtaxing our mind, our body suffers.

3. Create your own comfort. Do something pleasant and nurturing for yourself every day. Take a de-tox bath. Buy yourself some flowers. Eat a cookie entirely in bliss, without a spec of guilt. Give yourself a relaxing foot rub with essential oils, something I do every night.

Anything that pleases your senses just for the hell of it is GREAT self-care.

Learn to savor pleasant sensations, like how good a hot shower feels as it hits the back of your neck. 

Practice gratefulness.

Even if it’s just for a few minutes, become mindful, instead of mind FULL.

4. Make your mental health a priority. A therapist or life coach is a priceless investment in yourself, and unless it’s mental illness, our suffering can be healed. Your mind can become your ally by learning practices like Byron Katie’s The Work.

If there are issues that you can never seem to resolve, or you repeat harmful life choices, there could be underlying trauma. Consider that emotional trauma can be as devastating as physical or sexual trauma.

Life is too short to live in unnecessary suffering. My wake up call happened when my mother was dying with Alzheimer’s disease.Lying in bed one night, I realized she was only 25 years older than me. Suddenly life seemed so short, and I hadn’t lived with enough joy or happiness. It shook me up, and I knew in that moment my life would be changing.

5. Get back to basics. Drink more water and eat whole food. Take a walk. Stretch. If you’re headed for burnout, get more sleep. Buy a stainless steel water bottle, and carry it with you. Instead of making drastic changes to your diet, add one good thing at a time. Switch out your table salt for Himalayan salt. Add superfoods like spirulina or blueberries. Add instead of subtract. Nourish instead of deprive.

Bonus Tip.

For the most advanced self-care, take time to DO NOTHING.

Schedule time to be totally unproductive. Listen to music. Turn off your mind and gaze at a sunset. Lay in bed with a book for a few hours…in the middle of the day. When you’re advanced enough, take a whole day to be non-productive. It may seem counterintuitive, but the more we include fun and rest, the more productive we are in the rest of our life.

Self Care Diagnosis

When our soul’s desires aren’t being nourished, we know it. Most of us know in our gut what we really need.

Guilt, shame or fear can sabotage our self-care. Practicing self-care is radical…it means accepting sole responsibility for our own happiness.

Self-care is a commitment to your SELF. 

Listen to what your entire being says a delicious “YES” to, and create room for that in your life.

When you do that, you’ll start feeling better, have more energy, and see yourself moving toward the life you crave!

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*More resources for Self Care

Dan Howard’s Intentional Resting. An amazingly simple tool to instantly decrease stress.

Free Relaxation Downloads Dartmouth. Deep Breathing, mindfulness, progressive muscle relaxation, guided visualizations.

Byron Katie. Downloadable worksheets, instructions for The Work.

Essential Oils. Essential oils have helped in my healing and I use them every day. 

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TEN TIPS FOR 10 MINUTES OF SELF-CARE

PUBLISHED MARCH 30TH, 2016

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The kids are fighting in the back seat, your spouse’s texts are blowing up the phone, your boss just increased your work load, and you have no idea what’s for dinner. Everyone wants your attention and your to-do list is a never ending nightmare of “something else to deal with.” You feel close to snapping, and to letting loose the primal scream that’s been rising in your throat all day. 

Another day has gone by with your own self-care at the bottom of your to-do list.

Women look at me and think, oh sure, self-care is fine for you, your children are grown, you live alone, and you don’t work a 9-to-5. Change the setting to a stay at home mom, an entrepreneur working from home, or a single woman, and you’ll still find women at the end of their rope.

This might piss you off… but it’s not more time you need. 

What is self-care anyway?

There’s a physicality to it. It’s a turning inward toward ourselves, an attentiveness to mind, body and soul.

It’s nurturing self-touch, loving-kindness directed to our minds, and gentle surrender to our soul’s need for nourishment.

Self-care begins with being present to ourselves.

I love this description of self-care from Dayna Evans, from What I Learned in 36 hours With the Worlds Most Powerful Women.

She quotes this gem from Opal Tometi;

“Don’t sacrifice your body for the sake of everyone else’s body.”  

How perfect is THAT.

The truth is that self-care is crucial in any healthy relationship. If we’re run down and resentful, our presence doesn’t benefit our children, spouses, or loved ones. In fact, just the opposite.

Self-Care Isn’t About Being Selfish.

Self-care means sometimes putting ourselves first, something that’s especially difficult for women. We’re taught at an early age to be nice, to share, and to put everyone else’s happiness before our own. Unless we thoughtfully examine those behaviors, we end up as adults that are exhausted, resentful and unfulfilled.

So Where Do We Begin?

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1. Start small.
We often get blocked by thinking only the big changes count, yet the smallest efforts can reap huge benefits for your mind, body, and soul. Your entire being responds to the tiniest bit of intention when it comes from the heart. Make the intention to practice self-care, even if you have no idea what that will look like. 

2. Put yourself on your to-do list.
Start with ten minutes a day, and schedule it in. We can all find ten minutes. Turn off the TV, close the laptop, pause the email checking. Tell your spouse and kids you need ten minutes of uninterrupted time. Let them know you mean it. Hide in the bathroom at work for a quick meditation. (I did that for years.) Get creative and you’ll find the time.

3. Don’t schedule yourself last. 
You’re less likely to engage in self-care when you’re exhausted. A relaxing bath before bedtime is great, but make plans for yourself during your peak hours too. Self-care means you’re giving yourself the same quality time you give to others.

4. Learn to Breathe.
You’ve found your precious ten minutes, now what? Start by focusing on your breath. The power of the breath to change our emotional state can’t be underestimated. Even the ancient mystics knew that breath was the portal to our inner life. Close your eyes, take a deep abdominal breath through your nose, then blow out slowly and gently through pursed lips like you’re blowing through a straw. Just three of these breaths kicks your brain and nervous system into delicious rest. After that take slow comfortable breaths to avoid hyperventilating. For more about the stress-reducing benefits of breathing, check out Focused Abdominal Breathing to Reduce Pain and Anxiety  or The 4-7-8 Relaxing Breath Exercise.

5. Do a Body Scan. 
After slowing your breathing, do a quick body scan. Turn your attention to your body, notice any areas of tension or pain, relax, and let your body guide your hands to any area that needs care . Trust that your body yearns to communicate with you. You may get images, ideas, or even cry. Massage, gently stroke, or just keep your hands on that part of your body, while saying soothing words like, “I’ll take care of you, I’m here for you, it’s ok, I love you.” It may feel silly at first, but the body has a higher intelligence that responds to this.

Self-care is powerful medicine for your mind, body, and soul. I guarantee if you can give yourself just ten minutes a day your life will start to change. You’ll feel calmer on busy days. You’ll get deeper insights about your life’s journey. You’ll feel less underlying resentment towards a world that wants to drain your precious energy.

There’s nothing more important on your to-do list than that.

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My Journey to Self Care – from Fixing to Healing

PUBLISHED MARCH 15TH, 2016

The bottle of pills sat on my kitchen counter for months, untouched. I’d filled the script hoping it would help, but couldn’t bring myself to take it.

It was a popular drug used for autoimmune conditions, but an invisible force held me back.

Eventually, with desperation as motivation, I took it.

Of course, all hell broke loose.

Five days later, my already burning nerves were screeching, heart was flopping, and brain was over and out. A call to the doctor confirmed what my body was screaming, “Stop the drug immediately!”

I kept saying,“I knew it,
I KNEW IT!”  

That drug had sat unused on my counter because my body KNEW.

After that, I was done with Western Medicine. No more doctors, tests, guesses, diagnoses, or drug experimentation.

Surprisingly, in the coming months, I began to feel better.

I’ve been asked, “How did I do it? What’s my healing regime?”

This question assumes that I have it figured out.

I’m not so sure I do.

My body has never felt like a friend. At the least, it was an inconvenience and at the most, it got me what I wanted. Craving sexual attention, I denied it nourishment to keep it thin. A single parent, I pushed it to work two jobs. I demanded it do my bidding, to which it often rebelled.

Getting ill was just more proof that my body had it out for me, and I’d tried various treatments to fix it. After the drug fiasco, something shifted.

I began to notice the “pull towards” things my body craved, and the “push away” from things that were no good

The first thing my body felt pulled to was essential oils. My body sighed yes when I massaged them into my skin, and the soothing aromas, over-riding stress in the brain’s emotional centers, calmed me.

This practice gently supported my body, instead of violently pushing it to conform. It felt easy and peaceful, in total contrast to the past frustration of trying to fix myself.

I began a body love practice. Over several weeks, I sat in stillness and sent love and Reiki to one body part at a time.

My feet were in pain from taking me through life without my consideration. My shoulders ached with stories of heavy burdens. My pelvic bowl held a child that wanted her innocent creativity back. My ribs were constricted from guarding my heart.

The only agenda was attention to my body. 

In meditation I began to experience my body as a complete universe, with the same beautiful rhythms as the larger universe. This led to creating a meditative visualization of blissful homeostasis, balancing my physical, energetic, and spiritual bodies.

A bigger force was guiding me, call it my higher self, that is one with the entire cosmos. This force, binding mind, body and soul, was now leading me to healing.

These practices relaxed my body and bathed it in love.

There were other external changes, adding superfoods to my already organic nourishment, investing in a high quality water purifier, oil pulling, and quitting a daily coffee habit. I also stopped a daily intake of horror stories on chronic illness forums, a fear triggering habit that was draining my precious energy.

During that time I also started seeing a counselor.

In Brené Brown’s book, Daring Greatly, she talks about shame as actual trauma. It’s hard to comprehend that shame can cause PTSD, but believe me…it can. In one session, while doing EMDR, a trauma treatment, I had an overwhelming shame PTSD attack. It was a revelation to understand the depth of trauma I’d experienced.

Although I’d worked with counselors in the past, I now felt like the blinders had been lifted.

I believe all these things were helpful, but the real change was a shift in consciousness. 

If I had to name my regime, it would look like this.

  • Body love, good! Body rejection, bad.
  • Body support, good! Body control, bad.
  • Loving body attentiveness, good! Neglecting body, bad.
  • Self acceptance, good! Self shame, bad.
  • Inner wisdom, good! Ego searching outside, bad.
  • Mental peace, good! Mental fear, bad.
  • Emotional awareness, good! Emotional suppression, bad.

Several books also showed up to support my process.

Eight months after the medication disaster, I became aware that something had changed. Camping with my family, I walked a quarter mile with my 3 year old grandson, the farthest I’d been able to walk in years. He was still moving faster than me, but I was ecstatic!

I’ve gained some of my previous life back, which I thank my body for regularly.

There isn’t a simple answer to the question, “How did I do it?” I might have gotten better regardless, but I think there’s a deeper truth.

The question isn’t how did I do it, but what changed? 

It started with an inner shift that led me to becoming my body’s own lover, instead of an adversary.

It’s ironic the illness that took me out also gave me the time to heal.

How many of us feel we have ample time to rest, and to deeply attend to ourselves?   

I can’t answer for others, but I see women around me doing exactly what I did, chronically pushing themselves beyond their limits. Like I was, they’re convinced it’s absolutely necessary.

The Universe always supports consciousness, and focusing our attention on self care invites the love of the entire cosmos. When we do that, we find the freedom to heal our most important relationship, our lover’s relationship with ourselves.

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JUST DO WHAT YOU WANT TO!

PUBLISHED JULY 16, 2014

At the height of his career, Dr. John Kitchin asked a 93 year old man standing in a cafeteria line his secret of longevity. The man turned to Dr Kitchin and said, Do what you want to!

Years later, remembering those words, Dr. Kitchin gave up his very lucrative career in medicine to become the man now known as SLOMO…a slow motion skater on the beautiful Pacific coast of California.

He describes himself before becoming SLOMO as being lost in a rational world, thinking only about material things. He explains, “If I look back on it, I was thinking, this is the most absurd way to go through a life a person could ever dream up… but we’re all being pushed on to do this. And then, I had the opportunity to stop.”

He says of himself, “Now I experience myself like the top of a great iceberg of consciousness.”

SLOMO describes his unique form of skating as a form of expansion, a meditation that puts him in the zone.

He goes to say in the short film: “For a while I thought I might be going crazy or something, because I’m too happy! That was 15 years ago. Almost nobody felt I was normal…even me…I’d been trained to think this was a type of mental illness or some sort of aberration of the mind.”

Aware of his skating as a spiritual experience he says, “Once we see the light, we know that there will be no satisfaction until we experience a kind of divinity…something that’s a s close to divinity as man can experience. And I had an opportunity to get in that…when I start staking that happens to me.”

“Do what you want to” is a higher spiritual directive. It’s a call to a soul life, not the same as living selfishly, but a call to live from the unique expression of our deepest self…and benefit the world in sharing that divine soul self.

I was moved to tears by his story. My soul was saying YES YES YES! Not everyone is ready to make this kind of transformation…but trying to ignore our soul’s call can become a suffering almost impossible to ignore.

As he says at the end of the video, “The people that love SLOMO are cheering for one person that got away…that escaped and got to real freedom…by simply doing what he wants to!”

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DO YOU KNOW YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE?

PUBLISHED OCTOBER 24, 2014

Are You Living Your Life’s Purpose?

Do you feel drawn to a BIG purpose in life? After 20 years of being employed with no purpose except a paycheck, I found my calling as a life coach. Then, a few years ago I found myself disabled by chronic illness. This year I was trying to get my business up and running again, with just a few clients, and trying to blog regularly. I’d met some of my yearly goals, and it felt great.

 Things were going well, until a few months ago when I took the “three steps backwards” and relapsed. After that, even blogging was like mountain climbing for my brain.

Taking a shower today, my big accomplishment for the day, I realized my life has narrowed down in purpose.

Does that mean I’ve lost my purpose? It feels like it sometimes. I feel like I’m not serving the world.

Is that true?

This week I’m on energy conservation mode, or energy quarantine as I like to call it. My only task this week is to rest enough to be able to watch my two grandkids for a few hours Saturday night.

How does that measure up to my BIG Purpose of serving the world? Of being the life coach that helps lots people find their own true purpose?

How is spending time with two little human beings that I love with my whole heart and soul any less important?

I’m still living my purpose here. I live it every day by being alive. 

All the so called Little purposes add up, maybe to a BIG Purpose that I can’t quite see, but intuitively feel.

My success isn’t measured by Big or Little accomplishments, but by living with purpose every day.

My “little” purpose in life is my intention to live every day present in love, whenever possible.

Even if on some days, it’s just for myself.

So, do you feel the same? Do you feel you’re somehow missing out on your BIG purpose in life? Take a look at your intention for life. Is it happiness? Freedom? Love? Live in your intention every day, and you’re living in your purpose.

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HEAVEN AND HELL – ON EARTH

PUBLISHED JULY 2ND, 2014

I was suffering. Cold, exhausted, shivering violently, leg muscles locked up tight. My body was contracting with intense waves of muscle spasms. The utter loss of control in my body was truly frightening.

I was laying on an air mattress in a tent, under an ancient forest of pines, the first night of a long anticipated camping trip. Right on the lake, it’s still so wild there that all of our food and every crumb of garbage went in the sturdy metal bear box at night. No plumbing, no power…just a fire pit and an outhouse…and second to the Grand Canyon, the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen. A pristine vortex of pure natural energy, I’d spent many childhood summers there.

This wild beloved place was my home for the next 6 days. 

I’d spent weeks in preparation. With chronic illness, I’d carefully paced. Errands and packing had started weeks before, everything planned well in advance.

On the day of departure my Jeep and I joined the 4 vehicle caravan, ready for the two hour drive up into the Adirondack Mountains. It was the first time in 4 years that I’d been able to join my family again for the trek, and I’d made it!

That night, happy but well beyond my limits, I lay down on the cold air mattress and began to feel the profound dysfunction of my body. Even my breathing muscles felt fatigued. Not unfamiliar, normally dealt with at home in a soft warm bed, I now had no way of compensating for the extreme fatigue, pain, and night-time temperatures that were dipping into the high 30’s.

The Depths of Hell

My body was having none of it. A flood of adrenaline, although an appropriate response to keep me warm, was the last straw. In the brutally damp cold, shivering, saturated with stress hormones, I crashed horribly. I felt ill and darkly anxious, alone in the tent. I couldn’t tell if I was having a panic attack or the beginning of hypothermia. In hindsight…probably both.

In the midst of it I thought, “this is suffering.” No meditation, no affirmations or positive thinking was going to help. I was IN it. I’d expected to find the heights of bliss, instead I found myself in the depths of hell.

The only thing I could do was ride it out. I told myself it would pass, I’d be OK…and thankfully there was another big tent full of warm bodies only a few steps away. Why I didn’t crawl into that other tent immediately escapes me now…I remember thinking the violent shivering would pass and I’d fall asleep…but it didn’t…and it felt like hours before I finally made the decision to get up and crawl into that tent.

The next night was better, but for three days I was in agony. My body felt like it was encased in thick concrete, every movement a sickening effort. I realized I was truly ill. The worst part was feeling disconnected from the familiar ancient woodlands around me. I’d felt spiritual bliss at this place, and for the first time ever I didn’t feel it. My bodily functions were taking all of my focus to manage.

I was in grief over this stark reminder of illness. The last time I’d been here, I’d still been able to paddle a canoe, hike in the woods, and climb on the rocks by the water. Now conquering the slight incline to the outhouse felt like climbing Mount Everest. I needed help to get down to the dock. Hiking was out of question..when I tried, I crashed. I was miserable, and considered leaving.

I felt useless…unable to participate in most of the endless tasks involved in primitive camping. When I did manage something small like doing the breakfast dishes or watching the toddler, a huge accomplishment in my world, I felt unappreciated and misunderstood. I was suffering on every level.  

Transcendance

The third night, finally in my own tent, I picked up the only book I’d brought, a copy of the Bhagavad Gita, and began reading by flashlight. A highly revered book of ancient Hindu wisdom, it’d been sitting on my bookshelf unread for years. Grabbed almost as an afterthought while I was packing, little did I know how meaningful this random choice would become.

When I started reading, I experienced a profound feeling of…the only word that comes close… rightness. 

The ancient words reached into my heart and spirit, shining beacons lighting the way to my soul. 

The verses of Hindu wisdom illuminated my emotional pain. I was attaching great meaning to activity, and the way things “should be,” like being able to hike in nature, a deeply felt pleasure for most of my life. Being deprived of that pleasure had now become pain. I was attaching to my experience of illness.   

I simply cannot do the words justice, or describe how deeply my soul was touched.

There are layers of complex meaning in The Bhagavad Gita, and to condense it here is impossible. All I can say is that it profoundly answered my suffering… there is really no meaning in anything, we can play, have experiences, but our true life is the inner Spirit, living within us untouched by our circumstances, joy or pain. Living from that Spirit means living each moment as it presents itself, with no attachment to results or rewards or outcome. Only then do we find bliss. Among other things, the ancient words spoke of the right guidance appearing at exactly the right time, exactly what was happening to me.

I thought I knew this stuff. There is no peace except that which we find within ourselves. The Universe provides miraculous timely guidance. Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. I know all that. I coach it. Sometimes, as a mortal human, I think I understand it. But reading that little book I KNEW it…down to my bones. I could sense the truth… the divine being that I AM beyond the physical and mental suffering. That truth held no judgement, it was only separation from my own divine peace within.

Heaven

I devoured the Bhagavad Gita. The words came alive, enlightening everything I’d experienced at the lake, including feeling useless. I shifted out of suffering into peace.

Why did I just randomly pick up that one book, out of all the books I own? 

How could I know that it would be the exact thing to help me transcend suffering at the exact time I would need it? 

I don’t know.    

There is so much more to this life than we know. There is meaning, joy, bliss, in spite of unavoidable suffering. None of it matters and all of it matters. There are lessons, and even then, the lessons are meaningless. They’re meant to lead us to absolute letting go, but even then, letting go of the lesson becomes the lesson.

Thankfully, by the fourth day I’d come out of the crash, and I’d started feeling the healing energy of the lake. 

Before leaving that beautiful place I had a flash of insight that if I could live in a pure energetic environment like the lake, I would be “cured.” When I got home, I could clearly smell the polluted air, and feel the difference in the energy. There was definitely a disturbance in the force! I recognized the beginning of suffering, my desire to be somewhere else. 

I remembered that I can find peace anywhere. It’s always there, unchangeable, within. I know it.

Maybe I would be cured if I could live up there. 

Maybe someday I’ll find a way. But it doesn’t matter.

Suffering happens for a reason? Yes and no. Maybe. I don’t know.


The question isn’t, “Why do we suffer,” but “Where do we find peace?”

The suffering itself is meaningless in the end.

The ancient sages knew it, and our modern sages are still talking about it.

There is a place within us of bliss, of pure peace, in complete union with everything that is. A place beyond suffering. It’s that divine place that calls us, that tells us there is something more.

P.S. I got a call today to help a family member with a jump for his car. It was no biggie, but on the way home my Jeep died. Knowing he was already out on the road nearby, I gave him a call to come back and help me.

We couldn’t get it started again. It was hot and humid, easily pushing the low 90’s, and it looked like I was going to have to leave the Jeep behind. I started feeling sick from the heat, feeling the stress begin… then remembered that inner place of peace, no matter what. I went inward and found it, and felt a cooling rush of peace rise up within me. I turned the key once more in the ignition, and the Jeep started up.

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THE DONUT PRINCIPAL – RESISTANCE IS FUTILE

PUBLISHED JUNE 2014

A friend and I recently had a conversation about resistance. She wondered, “Why do we resist what we know is good for us? What IS resistance anyway?

Good questions.

We know it when we feel it.

It feels constrictive, tight in our body, wrong in our minds. 

Let’s Call It The Donut Principle.

When we try to resist temptation it goes something like this: “I’m NOT going to eat that mouth watering sugary donut…I’m not, I’m not, I’m NOT…and then we end up eating the whole damn box.

Why Do We Do That?!  

Resistance happens when we’re out of alignment..

We’ve moved out of our peaceful center.

Resistance Creates Energetic Tension.

We don’t want to do something. We keep doing it anyway. Then we judge ourselves, making the emotional charge of resistance even stronger. We keep trying to relieve the emotional tension and it becomes a vicious cycle: emotional tension, resistance, behavior, guilt, judgement and more emotional tension.

Hence, The Donut Principle. 

“I want that donut. That donut is bad for me. But I want it. No, I’m not going to eat it. But I want it!” EATS THE DONUT. Feels negative and guilty. Creates more emotional tension around the damn donut. To relieve that tension…EATS MORE DONUTS.

The brain gets wired to feel good when the craving is satisfied.

It has nothing to do with the actual donut.

We’d Be Better off, If We Could, To Feel Complete JOY While Eating The Donut.

Ultimately, we just want to feel good. Instead we’ll continue feeling bad about things that make us feel crappy, while believing the lie that they make us feel good.

Resistance, by it’s very nature, weakens us. Resistance causes friction and wears us down. It’s impossible to stop resistance by force of will.

Eventually our willpower weakens, as any chronic dieter knows.

Resistance Is a Liar.

Resistance springs from the fearful ego.

The ego keeps us in line by making us fearful of unfamiliar emotional territory. If we make changes, we might even end up feeling worse! That ego fear prevents us from taking the risk of experiencing real joy.

What Are We Really Resisting?

At our pure core exists higher energies, subtle vibrations of peace and calm.

Resistance is lower, denser energy, easily felt, louder and quicker to access.

Ultimately resistance keeps us from accessing our higher emotions…joy, happiness, sense of purpose.

Staying in resistance lets us stay in feelings like anger, irritation or overstimulation, which can become addictive attempts to relieve inner emotional tension.

Resistance distracts us from facing the truth of our pain.

Resistance Is Choice.

Facing our own truth can feel frightening. The ego says we can’t handle it.

Resistance feels safe and familiar. We choose the familiar, and sacrifice peace.

The Way Out is Truth.

Ultimately, I don’t want to eat the donut, not because it’s “bad,” but because I want to feel better. 

The noisy thoughts of resistance say this:

I want to give up sugar.

But it tastes so good!

Nothing else will make me feel as good. (Check out this video on the myth of comfort food.)

I’ll feel the loss of giving something up, of not having.

I’ll have cravings, and withdrawal.

Underneath Resistance Is DESIRE.

What’s the truth? It’s not good for me in so many ways. I want to work toward better health. It makes my body feel crappy.

The Essential Self says this:

My desire is to feel better and to move towards greater health. 

Dissolve the Power of Resistance.

Add, instead of subtract. For now, following my desire to feel better, I could take a small step and add something healthy to my diet, instead of giving something up.

Even better, I can add things to my life that satisfy me.

I can intend that when I’m ready I’ll give it up.

I can focus on the belief that when my body and mind feels full, it will be easier to give up the damn donut. True story, I’ve done it.

These intentions create open, expansive feelings in the body, (the opposite of resistance) starting a cycle of good feelings that naturally lead to better choices.

The Way Out  is IN.

Take a few minutes to really feel your resistance.

This can apply to any area of life; health, relationships, career.

Ask yourself:

What am I resisting?

What do I desire?

What’s the opposite of what I’m resisting?

For example, resisting sugar, desiring health. 

Resisting a bad relationship, desiring true intimacy. 

Move Your Focus.

Move your attention to your desire. Make one positive affirmation or intention about this desire.

When you’re ready, make a small step towards what you really want.

Stop fighting with resistance. Resistance wants to keep you fighting, to distract you from moving forward.

Make it your goal in life to find your DESIRE and JOY!

In the meantime, if all else fails, let go of resistance and enjoy the damn donut!

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Don’t Work Hard – Work Your Process

PUBLISHED JUNE 5TH, 2014

This post is a bit different than my norm.

Instead of my cosmic routine, I wanted to share some new projects.

Wait. That’s not totally true… 

I’d planned to write about how to work your processspecifically the process of healing and personal growth…and for goodness sake reaching enlightenment already.

I was contemplating how working your process is much different than working hard. Sometimes it’s slow and steady… like the untangling of knots… hurrying or pulling too hard will get you even more tangled up.

The ways we work our process are as varied and unique as our personalities, but usually it means shifting awareness, focusing our inner gaze, and slowly untangling the painful knots of suffering. After working out the tangles, we feel renewed. All of these essential steps are at the core of A.L.I.G.N.™ Coaching.

That blog post just wouldn’t come together. Ego said, “Just skip the newsletter this week.” I was tempted.

Spirit said, “Write about where you are.”

In the beginning of the year, I had plans. 

After a business planning tele-conference with the extraordinary Susan Hyatt, I was psyched. She makes it sound easy.

Fast forward a few months. Ahh, the ego… saying, “You’ve failed! It’s too much for your funky brain! YOU’RE NOT GETTING ANY SHIT DONE!

But wait. That’s not true… 

While working my process, I’ve also been chipping away at my plans.

I was amazed recently to see some things nearing completion.

There was shit getting done!

So what’s your process?

How do you work your process?

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DO YOU WANT MORE HAPPINESS … EVEN JUST A LITTLE?

PUBLISHED MAY 22ND, 2014

What if you could have just a little more happiness?

What if I told you the secret to having more happiness?

What is happiness anyway?

Dictionary.com defines happiness as the state of being happy….indicative of pleasure….as in a happy mood.

Helpful, but not precise...like describing the taste of an apple as tasting like an apple.

Happiness is so important to us that it’s been studied by many researchers, but even the researchers admit the results are relative. I may be happy to have more income, but a family surviving in a grass hut in a developing country sees me as wealthy.

We can all probably agree that happiness is a desirable feeling.

And in that is the secret:

We don’t want to manifest THINGS, we want to manifest FEELINGS.

It doesn’t MATTER what manifests on the outside. I’m telling you, it doesn’t.

It’s our feelings within that count. Happiness comes from within.

Isn’t that what we’re really yearning for? To have a certain feeling?

If we’re waiting for happiness, we’re looking at it as being a reaction.

Instead, we can create it as a state of being.

We often put happiness on hold… I’ll be happy when I lose twenty pounds, when I change jobs, when I find that perfect lover, when I get that new iPhone. We’ve been conditioned to depend on outside sources to create good feelings.

Here’s more of the secret…no matter what’s happening we can feel better right now. 

I don’t walk around feeling great all the time, no one does.

I do have moments almost EVERY DAY when I’m happy. Sometimes there are stretches lasting days. For someone who lived in states of constant stress, I find that pretty miraculous.

I know without a doubt, I’VE CREATED THAT HAPPINESS.

Happiness didn’t just appear when everything in my life started going my way.

 Far from it.

The more things have fallen apart, the MORE happiness I’ve created.

The more I remember I’m the powerful creator of what goes on in my mind, the better I feel.

This remembering is a practice.

Sometimes It seems like such a big production to work towards feelings better. We put it off thinking, “I’ll have to do this, I’ll have to that, I’ll have to change, blah blah blah.” The ego, encouraged by the part of our brain that gets stressed, keeps up from trying even little things. We take up an all or nothing mindset and end up not trying at all.

It doesn’t have to be a big thing.

It’s the little moments that ADD UP.

Have you ever kept a coin jar? That jar you just keep throwing pennies in…little by little, day by day it fills….

Start with one little positive thought of gratefulness…one little penny. One conscious positive thought is another. Get in the habit of noticing your positive thoughts….collect them like pennies. Before you know it, you’re rich in positive thoughts and full with happiness. Priceless.

NOTICE HAPPINESS when it happens. Focus on it. Savor it. FEEL what it feels like in your body, and put a name on it. Intend to have more of it.

Here’s what happiness feels like to me.

It’s warm and light at my center, spreading out to my limbs.

It sounds like high sparkly notes of music.

It looks like clear pathways of energy running through my body.

It feels like looking at the Sun, low and yellow in the sky at the end of the day, before it gets to the ecstatic views of sunset.

How would you describe what happiness feels like?

Where do you feel it in your body?

Do you have enough of it in your life?

It takes some practice. Remembering the acronym A.L.I.G.N, the practice I teach in my coaching, is one way to remember the practice.

A is awareness. Become aware of what makes you happy. Don’t let happy moments just pass by. Magnify them. When you feel happy, silently repeat thank you, thank you, thank you.

L is Liberation. When we change a thought, we change how we feel. Our freedom is in our consciousness. Pick one good thought and hold it in your mind as long as you can. Really notice how it makes you feel. Remember you are FREE to choose happiness over suffering.

I is Inner focus. Happiness is an inside job. Stop looking outside of yourself for something to make you happy. Create happiness internally and watch the world change around you. If you’re not happy, it’s time to look inward.

G is Growth. Practice! Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Think about it…Buddha never stopped meditating. Jesus never stopped praying. Practice.

N is New Life. Even on bad days, remember your practice! You have the power to feel better. Know that you’ll feel better again. Eventually you’ll see permanent changes!

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The Too Coachy Life Coach and Her Smart Ass Little Sister

PUBLISHED MAY 7TH , 2014

My life coachy self can come of as a bit of a jerk sometimes.

When people tell me their woes, my impulse is to offer an antidote to suffering. I don’t have all the answers, but I do know some pretty amazing stuff that works. 

What I forget is they haven’t asked to hear about it.       

I’m not insensitive, just the opposite. And I’m not saying SH*T doesn’t happen…like most people, I’ve gone through my own share… experienced major losses of loved ones, homes, jobs, lifestyles, relationships, finances, and identity. 

Believe me, I get it.

My little sister called me out on my coachy self.

Chatting on Facebook, she messaged about something being “hard.” 

She knows I believe that language is powerful energy. (here) I’ve also written about habitually saying things are “hard.” (here)

You can guess what went down.

Here’s our chat:

Disclaimer: What follows is not a life coaching session. Sacred space with a client has a much different energy than a casual Facebook chat with your sister.

ME: Is it hard? Or just deep…

SIS: yes [it’s hard]

ME: Going deep into learning. Pain. 

Pain = growth = joy.

SIS: I believe it is hard…cuz I have no idea what you mean about hard so I tune you out. hehehehe. 
I still don’t get that.
It’s just a word.

ME: Words have energy. 
They’re molecules in the brain. Molecules radiate energy.
The brain believes it’s hard.
Creates stress.

SIS: Hard means not easy to experience. 

Is it bad something is hard? I like hard puzzles.

ME: It’s “bad” to label everything as hard.

SIS: Ok. But SOME things can be hard, right?

ME: Things can be painful….say what they really are.

SIS: Painful sounds worse. More stressful.

ME: EXACTLY. 

There’s the alchemy right there!
Saying “it’s hard” prevents us from processing the pain!!!!
Did you read my blog? [<<<< coachy older sister] 

SIS: um…nope not your last one.

I believe I was doing something hard
hehahahahahaha [<<<<  smart-ass  witty little sister]

ME: It deflects us from going into the pain.
“It’s hard” becomes the story…story gets you no where….
working the process [of the pain] releases you from hard.

We get stuck in hard!

SIS: hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm….Interesting. I get that.

First time I get that “hard” thing

ME: COOL!

AND THEN SHE CALLED ME OUT.

SIS: ok. I tell you about something…and I say “hard”…and you stop listening to my story and tell me not to say hard…and I stop telling you and just get irritated about the word thing and that you just minimized my feelings.

——–end of chat excerpt——

Oops. Wow was she right. Thanks sis, for giving my coachy self a little kick in the ass. I appreciate the reminder.

She had valid questions. I realized she’s probably not the only one who interprets my message as insensitivity to personal suffering.

What I’m trying to say is that you have the power to make yourself happy or miserable.

I’m saying that “hard” is a story. The story prevents real growth. When we identify with it, we stay stuck. It’s exactly what the ego wants, to keep us from the risk of change. 

Suffering is familiar. Joy sometimes requires an utterly frightening leap of faith.

Sometimes it IS more painful to grow than to stay in our stories. 

Even in painful, deep emotional grief, we can make room for joy by letting go of the story of “It’s HARD.” 

I’ll be honest. I don’t want to hear how hard it is. 

What does interest me is what’s happening in your soul underneath your description of hard…where you’re raw, honest and real.

At the end of the conversation my sis said this:

SIS: Communication can be such hard work.

ME: Yes for sure.

She LOVED catching her life coach sister in THAT story! 🙂

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ARE THINGS HARD FOR YOU RIGHT NOW?

PUBLISHED APRIL 9TH, 2014

Today I’m struggling to write coherent sentences, much less a complete blog post. If I didn’t know better, I could say getting this blog written is HARD.

I was tempted to call this the mushy brain blog. I could barely get a topic together.

What’s been on my mind recently is my little bird, Dundee.

She’s a pure white cockatiel, who first belonged to my Mother. When my Mother couldn’t care for her, she became mine. My life got crazy and she went to my sister’s. It was a very painful separation. I could say it was HARD to let her go.

Last week she came back to live with me. Within minutes, she sat peacefully on my shoulder and put her little white feathered head down to be stroked.

After four years apart, she still remembered me.

I fell back in love, big time. My heart melted. Then I realized I was risking the eventual heartbreak of losing her again. I could say, “It’s HARD to loose a pet.”

Talking about why I’d given up Dundee, my sis said, “those were hard times for you.”

Lately I’ve been paying attention to how frequently we use the word “hard.” I wrote about it’s superpower antidote in my last blog.

When we say it’s hard we’re often relating loss. We’re saying things are changing and we don’t like it one bit.

Whenever I hear it, I’m always curious about the deeper experience.

Life is change, and change invariably involves loss. When we say, “it’s hard,” we’re expressing intense feelings. Maybe it’s a lesson in faith. Maybe it’s change trying to align us with deeper meaning and purpose. Maybe we’re learning how strong we really are.

This is not to say we don’t experience pain. According to brain scientist Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor in her book My Stroke of Insight, emotional pain comes in waves lasting 90 seconds. If we  let them flow through us without resistance, like ocean waves reaching the shore they eventually dissolve.

Resistance makes things worse. If I resist bonding with Dundee out of fear of loss, it makes having her feel “hard.” If I let go of resistance, I get to fully enjoy her lively and affectionate little personality.

Her return stirred up memories of stressful times. Thinking about those memories, I felt mildly depressed. I could say I was having a hard time. What really happened was an opportunity to heal another part of my heart. When I allowed myself to feel deeply, my heart opened and joy returned.

So how do we deal when things are “hard?” Having soft focus helps. Constant intense ruminating may feel like problem solving, but it’s more likely we’re just driving ourselves crazy.

With this blog I consciously let go of thoughts warning me about the disaster of not getting it done. I let the blog sit gently in the back of my consciousness, while staying open for inspiration, a kind of soft focus. While I’m in this soft focus, ideas spontaneously arise, usually while I’m standing at the kitchen sink.

This soft focus is a kind of faith, allowing our consciousness to tune in to higher inspiration and wisdom that supports us through any “hard” times.

Describing something as hard causes alarm… a cascade of stress hormones and chemical stress messengers are released throughout the body.  Every time we say it’s hard, we give ourselves another little shot of this stress cocktail. It becomes a type of addiction when we allow it to become our “normal” state of being.

Ultimately, which way feels better? To believe that things are hard or to reach for higher consciousness? To ruminate on how hard it is or find our way to peace and purpose?

At the end of the day, things are going to happen anyway. The only thing we really have any control over is our own personal consciousness.

Now the blog is finished…yay, it’s done! Uh oh. I just realized I haven’t even started my tax return. This is going to be….????…….?

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ARE THESE THREE THINGS RUINING YOUR DAY?

PUBLISHED MARCH 27TH, 2014

Do you know you have a superpower?

Like any superpower, it can be used for good or evil.

Stay with me here.

Thoughts, as language, are brain signals transmitted by molecules made of even smaller atoms. Atoms, according to quantum science, aren’t solid, but are tiny vibrating packets of energy. The entire Universe is made up of this energy, including your thoughts.

Your words are powerful currents of energy…energy you can direct.       

Try it. Say the word vomit. Your body will “vibrate” a feeling in response. Can you feel it? Now say, “Sunshine.” Notice the difference?

Your very reality is shaped by the energy of your words.

If one word can cause pleasant or unpleasant feelings, imagine the staggering effect of the thousands of words you repeat every day.

Language is powerful energy.  

If you doubt it, look at the careful wording of advertisements. Consider the emotion stirred by few words in a quote, an eloquent speech, or a mind bending novel.

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Language is your superpower. ZaP – POW – BAm! 

The last time you had a miserable day, were you saying one of these?

It’s hard.

I have to [insert unpleasant event]

There isn’t enough time.     

These disempowering ideas are like kryptonite is to superman...convincing us we’re passive victims. The energy from these stories affects the very reality around us.

They’re also clues to our deepest desires.

When you hear yourself saying those words, try this superpower smack down instead:

State what’s really happening.

Name the underlying feeling.

Discover the deeper desire.

Create your superpower antidote.

I’ll get you started.

#1. It’s hard. 

You’re resisting something.

State what’s really happening: Something feels challenging or is causing pain. You may be feeling protective of your physical or emotional resources.

Name the underlying feeling. Is it fear of not reaching a goal? Unprocessed sadness or anger?

Discover the deeper desire. If it wasn’t “hard,” what would you feel? Peace? Understanding? Knowing what to do? Where would you be if it wasn’t “hard” to get there?

The antidote. First, tell the truth. I feel _________  about __________. Be specific. Fully feel your truth.

Nowtransform the “hard” thing into a positive intention.

All resources are available to support me. 

I’ve met challenges before and I’ll meet them now. 

I look for the deeper meaning here.

#2. I have to.

We don’t “have to” do anything at all. Everything we do is by choice.  We could leave it all behind and become a crazy barefoot wanderer, but knowing the consequences, we choose not to.

State what’s really happening: You believe you must do a certain thing.

Name the underlying feeling: Do you feel pressured? Guilty? Tired? Emotional?

Discover the deeper desire: What would happen if you chose not to do something? What freedom do you need?

Antidote: Replace every I have to with I choose to.

Play 5 Whys. Ask yourself why you choose to do something.  Ask and answer 5 times, with different answers each time. When you’ve answered why 5 times, you’ll have gone deep into your inner truth.

After the 5 whys, finish with this: I choose to [insert undesirable thing] because [real reason]. 

#3. There isn’t enough time. 

Your essential self is unfulfilled.

State what’s really happening: Time isn’t the problem. It’s about lacking something of great importance to you.

Name the underlying feeling: Yearning? Regret? Fear of missing out?

Discover the deeper desire: What do you deeply crave? More love? Security? Rest? Put a name on it.

Antidote. What was in your mind while you were blaming time? Do you need more connection? Relaxation? Fun?

If we believe there isn’t enough time, it can be tempting to give up before we even start.

Intend to ALIGNyour life with personal meaning.

Start small. Small changes can add up to big meaning at the end of the day.

Instead of blaming time, intend change: I intend to find more love/connection/relaxation in my life. 

Do these “tunes” sound familiar?

This always/never happens. (Also known as the Story of My Life.)    

I’m sick and tired of this.

FML.

All of these can be zapped with the superpower antidote.

It can free us from needless suffering.

The superpower of language can be used for good, to create peace in our consciousness, or for evil, creating constant stress. It’s our own choice.

Whether it’s just perception, or the law of attraction, what we believe is what shows up. 

Now go activate your superpower and become a force for good! zAP BAM POw!

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WANTED – A NEW LIFE

PUBLISHED MARCH 12TH, 2014

I’m a life coach.

A life coach still in the process of healing herself. I’ve yet to make a six figure income, or publish my best seller.

Let’s just say I’m more than a few digits away from six figures, and the only celebrity status I enjoy is with my grand kids.

There’s a Buddhist saying that goes something like this, Before enlightenment, chopping wood…after enlightenment, chopping wood. Simply said…change isn’t always visible. 

I don’t claim to be enlightened, but I’m living a New Life, the fifth piece in my A.L.I.G.N.™  practice.

It hasn’t always been so.

My former self had a negative attitude and no hope. I’d made complaining a lifestyle.

I lived in survival mode, trudging along. During my single parent years, my love for my children was the only meaningful constant.

A while back I entered what Martha Beck calls the Ring of Fire, a life altering event, usually hellish, (hence the Ring of Fire) that can lead us to find our “core of peace.” It started with my Mother’s heartrending experience with Alzheimer’s. It shook me up and sparked a deep yearning for a life with as much meaning and love as possible.

The universe responded to that spark. 

I came across The Secret, and although I didn’t manifest a new car, it inspired a practice of deliberate thinking. To my amazement, I started feeling better.

The universe answered again with Martha Beck’s book, Finding Your Own North Star. Before long I was on my way to becoming a Martha Beck certified coach.

The Ring of Fire burned on and I lost my marriage, my home, and steady job. It was all strangely good and I was finally in the right life…and then became chronically ill. (You can read more about that here.)

I was in the right life, just not the one I’d expected.

My focus turned inward, to deep inner healing.

The practices of A.L.I.G.N.™ were forged out of that Ring of Fire… AwarenessLiberationInner FocusGrowth…and today’s blog, the final piece (finally Peace) … New Life.

On the outside it may look like I’m far from the worldly standards of success.

Yet, I regularly experience happiness and joy. My mind is often tuned to higher meaning instead of old re- runs of suffering. My life is filled with love.

Sure I have problems. Sometimes Bitchy Ego goes on a rant. She still loves to get annoyed and tries to avoid inner healing by getting all judge-y… but when I remember the practices of  A.L.I.G.N.™ …Bitchy Egocalms down. I think she gets bored with the lack of attention.

My inner state, as I “chop wood,” has been transformed.

I recently asked a friend what she thought of my new A.L.I.G.N. website. Her answer was, “Yeah, it’s not really my thing.” I really wanted to ask, which part isn’t your thing? The empowerment of your own life thing? The inner focus that heals, or the liberation from pain thing?

A.L.I.G.N.™ is about that and more. The practices of ALIGN are simple, and proven. The only requirement is a desire to feel better.

It’s human to feel doubtful, tired, overwhelmed, frustrated…but we have the choice, always, to make things better.

Whatever the reason that we’re here, whatever we’ve been through, we end up with choice. What goes on in our personal consciousness is really the only thing we ever have control over. We can choose to hunt for meaning, love and joy, until it’s second nature to love the life we find ourselves living. 

The clues to freedom are hidden in the suffering.

It’s possible to be happier, find your purpose, and live a NEW LIFE.

I want to start a revolution with you, to end your suffering.

Like any revolution, it takes courage and willingness.

It requires conscious intention instead of a passive mind. 

Once we understand the difference, even as we’re still chopping wood, our lives are never the same.

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YOUR PATH TO HAPPINESS – WHERE TO START ?

PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 12, 2014

I was once living a soul-less life. It started with one thirty second encounter.

“Not you, the Blonde!” I heard as I turned to look at the carful of guys driving by. My friend and I were out for a walk when her blonde sexiness had attracted the attention of the car’s occupants, who’d obliged with whistles and vulgar yells. Their cruel words devastated my self esteem. I felt ugly and fat, suddenly craving the attention my friend was getting. From that moment on I dedicated myself to changing my looks, and my efforts worked. Years later I was finally hot and feeling powerful, attracting the sexual attention I craved.

It turned out to be a soul crushing endeavor. The attention was shallow, and who I really was inside had become painfully invisible. 

I knew it was time to renew my process of inner work. Only by going within would I begin to find precious healing and liberation.

Inner focus is a practice of self intimacy, a sacred noticing of ourselves.

With inner focus we find insight (IN SIGHT!) about our journey and work the process of our personal growth. With inner focus we discover the subconscious beliefs that shackle us, the wounds crying out for healing.

Here also we find our courage, love, beauty, kindness…all that’s good within us in unlimited abundance. Going within we find our unconditionally lovable uniqueness.

As we make our way back to that inner wholeness we find healing. 

All that we crave from outside of ourselves, love, understanding, validation, is amply available within.

It took years to believe that. I blamed myself for my unhappiness over the soul-less life and marriage I’d ended up in. I told myself nothing was wrong, it was all me, I was just too sensitive and intolerant. Ego grumbled, saying lighten up and practice being more patient. I turned myself inside out and upside down to make things work. None of it did. My happiness was still dependent on changing who I was instead of trusting the inner wisdom telling me I was in the wrong life.

Peace comes when we define ourselves from within.

As I learned to trust the guidance flowing from inner focus the path became clearer. My life filled with purpose and meaning. Higher emotional states like joy, that were lacking in my life, began to happen spontaneously.  I went from constantly negative to truly positive and optimistic… proof that it can be done. It wasn’t an easy transition, but was incomparably better than living in the agony of unhealed wounds.

Finding a practice to go within is essential if we yearn for the IN SIGHT of our soul.

From within, we’re lacking nothing.

We turn inward to pray, contemplate, appreciate, meditate. With inward focus we experience the energy of letting go, forgiveness, healing.

Going within we find we’re miraculous conscious beings with an ability to experience natural altered states. We flow though these states every day when we sleep, dream, contemplate, meditate…with music, love, sex, rest, work and yes…even chocolate.

For the braver explorer there are even wilder altered states of consciousness where we can, as the Talking Heads sang, “float into the universe.”  Although we don’t need them for mind trips, as I can attest, even planet earth seems to support the expansion of our consciousness with psychoactive plant substances that fit perfectly to receptors in our brain. I’m not promoting drug use, but it’s fascinating that we’re blessed with a mysterious ability to stretch conscious awareness beyond the conditioned limits of our mind.

Higher emotional states like bliss, joy and happiness are for everyone, not just the mystics.

It takes courage to trust the less tangible, seemingly less secure realm of our inner consciousness. As Terence McKenna said on trusting our inner vision, “This is how magic is done. By hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering it’s a feather bed.”

It’s only from within that we make sense of what’s “outside” of us and the higher meaning of our lives.

By going within we can shift the landscape of our inner reality…from the alchemy of that inward shift the world around us has no choice but to follow.

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LIBERATION!

PUBLISHED JANUARY 28, 2014

Human consciousness is reaching a tipping point. Collectively, we’re tired of suffering. Are you feeling it?

Many of us are experiencing glimpses of soul-sweet peace, spontaneous moments of bliss, and visions of freedom for every living soul.

We’re yearning to be released from pain.      

There was a time when you felt no suffering, no guilt, or fear. You loved yourself and the world. Do you remember?

We enter this world in perfect consciousness, a precious time before ego develops. Guilt is impossible and love is received without doubt.

We’re born unable to conceive that we’re unloveable. There’s no constriction in our hearts, and no reason to protect our tender emotions from the world.

What happens?

We begin to experience pain, we get sick or injured, and inevitably we experience the emotional pain of untold, unmet needs.

We create stories to cope with that pain…and then spend the rest of our lives repeating the stories and believing them to be true. Constructed by the mind and separate from the authentic self, they become entrenched as ego.

The young child, through the first relationships with caretakers, internalizes beliefs about self worth and creates a social self to assure approval.

Focused only on safety and survival, this ego self is terrified of losing control.

The ego learns things at a tender age like: “If I’m not good, I risk abandonment” or “If I’m not doing things right, I’ll lose approval.”

Fiercely defending the status quo against change, the ego warns that our deepest longings are scary, wrong, and totally impossible…Lions and Tigers and Bears oh my….run, run, run for your life!

Where there’s fear, confusion, and doubt, the ego is at work.

When we struggle to feel worthy or have a negative opinion of ourselves, there is ego.

If it doesn’t feel good and we do it anyway, there is ego.

In reality, while the ego tries to protect us, it causes intense suffering.

When we’re tired of that suffering, we’re ready for LIBERATION!   

What if we trusted our desire for joy instead of being driven by the ego’s unconscious fear?

The ego wants to keep us in struggle and we’ll never win the fight. The struggle itself is another sneaky way that ego keeps us distracted from what it perceives as the terrifying uncertainty of our soul’s calling. The ego must be gently reassured, as we again and again turn to the light of conscious awareness.

Without conscious awareness, there’s no liberation.

When I was younger I gave my mind over to a religious cult. By the time I got out, almost 10 years later, I was in spiritual and emotional confusion.

Connecting with my higher consciousness set me free. It was life changing to learn I could reprogram my own mind, one of the first precious steps of my life’s journey in conscious awareness.

I jokingly tell my loved ones I have a long way to go before I’m Buddha… I still struggle with pesky ego states like road rage, (Or the ego bugging me now to get this blog done already!) but the more I engage the process of aligning with higher consciousness, the faster ego quiets and peace returns.

The rewards of claiming the freedom to explore consciousness far outweighs the pain of living in unexamined fear.   

True liberation comes when we realize there is nothing to change. Our pure state of conscious awareness is a fountain of peace in the present moment, accessible and unchangeable. Our essential being needs no improvement.

The freedom of awakening IS liberation!

It’s subtracting, not adding. We don’t have to add education, gurus, books, courses, or self-flagellation. We only subtract ego, a learned program. In the simplest terms, we can just shut down the program. The only thing we need is our will, intention, and practice.

Freedom begins in our minds. The moment we understand that freedom, a world of infinite opportunity opens.

We’ve only begun to understand the human brain and the miraculous power of our minds….and the science of quantum physics says we’re one with this vast field of universal energy. If our consciousness was truly free, maybe it would be possible to walk on water, or at the least, as Buddha taught, realize The Buddha within and free ourselves and the world from all suffering.

This I do know…

Liberation of consciousness is a process. The layers of ego must be peeled away. At times the layers shed easily, at times the layers resist… requiring gentle, persistent prying… and letting go… letting go … letting go.

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EXPANDING YOUR CONSCIOUSNESS

PUBLISHED JANUARY 15, 2014

When I was about 9 years old, during a family outing, I became aware of my own consciousness as it existed in the stream of time. In a flash of insight, I knew, in some distant future, the moment I was experiencing would be only a memory in my future consciousness. It was mind-blowing.

I was a weird kid.

That unique weirdness stayed with me and my life’s travels have been transformational journeys in consciousness, without drugs for the most part.

I’m drawn to cosmic questions like, “What is consciousness?” 

Debated by mystics and scholars since the dawn of human self-awareness, there’s no clearcut answer.  What’s clear is that without conscious awareness we struggle to find happiness and meaning.

Kingsley Dennis, author of Breaking the Spell of Humanity, defines consciousness: “Yes, consciousness is awareness, perception and, most importantly, it is our conscious engagement, our participation with our state of being, which is also consciousness… Our consciousness is part of our wellbeing.”

It could be said that consciousness occurs in the brain, but that conscious awareness arises from the soul. Beyond my mind there’s a delicious, mysterious awareness of who I AM. This is an awareness that my thinking mind, busy with ego, just doesn’t get. The more I turn my focus to this mysterious realm, my life’s higher realm, the more I invite peace and miraculous synchronicity into my reality.

Conscious awareness is participation with your state of being.

To experience this, let’s expand your consciousness right now.

FIrst, focus on the period at the end of this sentence. You’ve just moved your consciousness, narrowing it to about 600 microns of space. (Microns are really small measurements.) As you did this, a thought may have arisen…like…this is just silly. The whatever-it-is-that’s-aware-of-the-thought is your consciousness.

Consciousness is the ocean from which the waves of thought spill forth.

Now move your consciousness again. Think of the moon, circling the earth within our vast solar system. You’ve just expanded your consciousness.

Move your consciousness to your right knee and try to feel into your knee. Now you’ve redirected your consciousness to inner experience.

We can move our consciousness anywhere. With our current understanding of quantum physics and the idea that everything is connected, this may be more science than mysticism.

We can also move our consciousness to any time. In a sense, we’re all time travelers.

We can remember the past or contemplate the future, triggering reactions, pleasant or unpleasant.

Reactions arise from conditioning, but beyond the reaction is you, the observer, as pure conscious awareness.

Awareness is the first step in aligning with your own unique blueprint to happiness.

In a sense we’ve been taught to stay unconscious, to ignore our own conscious awareness. The emergence of religions and civilizations brought with it the idea that personal consciousness is dangerous and must be tamed, controlled, and resisted. Societal, family or gender roles act to add restrictions on consciousness.

The memes and media of our modern world fill our consciousness with fear and negativity, creating victims of consciousness rather than creators of conscious lives.

In mankind’s beginnings, our primitive brain narrowed our focus to the menacing rustle in the bushes, keeping us alive. This survival mechanism is still part of our biology, but stalking us now are the frightening thoughts we have trouble ignoring.

We can choose instead to activate higher conscious awareness. Conscious awareness shines a light on the cause of our suffering and liberates us from unconscious conditioning.

This is the biggest “Secret” to joy, happiness, love or abundance.

Starting a simple practice of mindful conscious awareness can bring peace. Nothing new, this was Buddha’s teaching, echoed in Eckhart Tolle‘s book The Power of Now, Byron Katie’s mind liberation method called “The Work,” and teachings of present day monks Pema Chödrön and Thich Nhat Hanh

Personal consciousness connects us to the Big Consciousness, whether it’s called Great Spirit, God, Goddess, Higher Self, Universe or the Big Kahuna, allowing us to experience the expansive conscious universe beyond our thinking minds.

I choose to align my consciousness with Spirit, to the sacred present moment, and to higher thoughts. I focus my conscious awareness on what’s GOOD in the moment, the blissful flow of the energy surrounding me. My mind follows expanded consciousness with expansive thoughts, freeing me from suffering.

My consciousness expands into the infinite energy waves of life around me, always moving, becoming, changing…waves of light, sound and movement…and I AM all that. 

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HANGOVERS, KARAOKE AND CRASHES!

PUBLISHED DECEMBER 31ST, 2013

Happy New Year!

This is part two of my story: Hangovers, Karaoke and Crashes. Appropriately titled for posting on New Years Day, although it wasn’t planned that way!

My last newsletter/blog was about why I resisted the mind-body healing movement.

This second part is about my journey with healing becoming an evolution of consciousness, and it felt important to share.

I don’t plan to continue writing about chronic illness in future posts…my passion is to write about transformation of consciousness…and this is about mine. 

I’d be honored if you read it.

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I’m a Party Girl at heart. I miss her.

This October, I was invited to an epic Halloween party.

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I’d been feeling better after a few months of acupuncture, my first glimpse of physical healing in years. 

Guess what Party Girl wanted to do.

It was a blast. I’d made a fabulous costume. Sang Karaoke. Socialized. Drank gin and tonics out of a plastic cup. Even suffered an honest to goodness hangover.

The week after, surprisingly, I was still functioning! In three years there hadn’t been one straight week without severe symptoms. I made more plans and kept going!

Recovery, here I come!

Then,Party Girlcrashed hard.

A chronic fatigue crash feels like being unconscious, with open eyes. Limbs are alien lead appendages. The nervous system goes bonkers. It’s horrible. Crashes can prevent normal activities like say…moving.

It didn’t feel like it, but that crash brought blessings.

It taught me to honor the quiet hours of stillness the illness has allowed. The party was fun, but my soul craves something more.

The exploration of consciousness, and how it relates to happiness, has always been at the core of my life’s purpose. My soul directs me towards that purpose, with my body as a guide.

About a month after the Party Girl crash, in the midst of writing this, it happened again. Writing about healing? Hah. Big joke.

I’d promised my Granddaughter a tour of Christmas lights, but before we got on the road I was already crashing. I stubbornly pushed on. She got to see the lights, but I couldn’t drive myself home.

I couldn’t understand why I’d risked it.

Going back to that night, it became apparent I was desperate to avoid disappointment. I remembered my parents frequently using “I’m so disappointed in you” as an emotional weapon. Combined with other emotional abuse, my tender child nature had been painfully wounded.

I’m irrationally terrified of disappointment, not just of others, but of feeling my own. I’d rather push myself to the brink of collapse than feel that emotional wound.

What a lesson… I’m so codependent I can’t even disappoint myself!

It was a huge leap of self awareness. It’s given me an opportunity to create a healthier response.

The universe always supports growth, and our consciousness is fertile ground when given our attention.

My last blog was about how I’d twisted mind-body healing into self-punishment.

Old belief: I’ve created my illness.

New belief: I look upon my life with compassion.

From a purely physical standpoint, I had no control over my genes or the stressful childhood environment that predisposed me to illness.

Unmanaged stress followed me into adulthood with divorce, financial struggle, and single parenting, followed by losing my Mother to Alzheimer’s, a second marriage ending badly, losing my home and then my steady job of 20 years.

Now I look with compassion on the little girl, and the woman, who traversed those years and somehow held it all together. I bow in Namaste to her.

Old Belief: By figuring out what I did to create my illness, I can fix it.

New Belief: I’m good exactly as I am.

Perfectionism and approval-seeking drove me to keep going.

I’d starved myself to be thin and sexually attractive, always struggling for control over my natural body.

Things had to get done “the right way.” I was never at rest.

Now I forgive myself for pushing my body around. My intention is to be kind to myself and to let my body lead. Honoring my body’s delicate balance is a continuing practice.

Old belief: If I believe in healing enough, I’ll be healed.

New belief: Radical acceptance is healing enough.

I want to be healed, but out of love, not shame.

The intention to practice unconditional self-love IS the healing I’ve been looking for.

Old belief: If I’m not healed, I must be doing something wrong.

New Belief: Unconditional love means accepting all of me, especially the unhealed parts.

I’m not doing things wrong. I’m living a life.

Humans are messy sometimes. I have bad days when there’s fear and doubt.

The good days now far outnumber the bad, and the wellness I feel has nothing to do with my physical state. Healing isn’t always visible.

I thought being ill meant I wasn’t living my “right life.”

The right life that was calling was immersion in self-healing. 

A call to serve can cross over into codependency…and holy crap I can be codependent. Life coaching is one of the ways I’m called to serve, but even that was driven partly by my ego identity’s need for approval. It was a turning point to take a sabbatical in order to concentrate on myself.

Focusing solely on self-healing brought up massive guilt, something I still work on.

As Darla Bruno, life coach at Simply Living Well said about my guilt over long hours of rest: “It‘s OK to be in the land of the long time.”

What I do, or can’t do, doesn’t define my true self, or soul.

My soul’s expression within my abilities IS my right life.  

Maybe there is something to be gained by staying ill…maybe on some level, we are choosing it.

What looks like “secondary gain” to the outside world may be the only relief available to the deeply unhealed.

Maybe the wound runs so deep that it pulls the skin of our soul in tender places, and we have no idea how to heal it.

It’s possible that suffering in the moment IS our purpose, for the moment.

There’s a hidden place, between sickness and healing, that holds the key to wellness. 

That place is holy ground.

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WHAT HAPPENED WHEN I GAVE UP ON MINE-BODY HEALING

PUBLISHED DECEMBER 18TH, 2013

I’d promised you I’d write about mind-body healing.

This is my story.
Writing this has been cathartic, even as I’ve written my understanding has deepened…of why I thought I was f**ked up and why I railed against the mind-body healing movement.
It’s a two parter. Make sure you tune in to part two:
 Hangovers, Karaoke, and Crashes.
My blog isn’t about my journey with chronic illness…It IS about transformation of consciousness and this story is part of mine.
                                         I’d be honored if you read it.

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A few years ago, I was in remission from chronic illness.

For the first time in a long while I felt hopeful and free, happily working as a Life Coach, active, practicing yoga, walking, meditating, and eating healthy. I thought I was healed by doing everything right.

Then came the relapse.

More than a relapse, new symptoms came on that severely affected my functioning and cognitive skills. I was in worse shape than the time of my initial diagnoses. It SUCKED with a BIG-FAT-S…as in SHITSTORM.

When I thought I’d finally had it all together, it all fell apart.

I was devastated.

Having been trained as a Reiki Master, and now a life coach equipped with mind-body tools, I agonized over the question of what had gone wrong. Obviously I’d missed something.

My Life Coach teacher Martha Beck, having experienced fibromyalgia, says this: “Pain is like a life coach in your body. It’s what made me a life coach because I started paying a lot of attention to what made me hurt and what didn’t. It turned out my body was trying to steer me away from a life that was absolutely wrong for me and into a life that was absolutely wonderful.”

After the relapse, hearing things like that just pissed me off.

I heard, “If you’re experiencing pain and illness, you aren’t living your right life.”

And I was calling BULLSHIT.

I went into a shame spiral. If I’m ill, then I’m not living my right life. So what the hell is my right life??? Aren’t I in my right life??? I thought I WAS living my right life!!!!

Practically every spiritual teacher of our day speaks of the mind-body connection and physical healing.

Louise Hay, at the forefront of the modern mind-body self-healing paradigm, says in her book You Can Heal Your Life“We create every so-called illness in our body.” 

Lissa Rankin, MD, in her recently published book Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself, says the power of our minds can heal. She writes: “Loads of data proves that the mind can believe itself well,” and she shares ample numbers of cases to back this up.

I interpreted it all as a kind of “Just Do It” message. Just figure out where you need to change or have more belief and your health will improve.

Throw in the law of attraction, (what you think about you bring about) and you’ve got a perfect storm of shame, blame, fear, and doubt.

Here’s how my ego mind spun those messages.

I’ve created my illness.

By figuring out what I did to create my illness, I can fix my illness.

If I believe in healing enough, I’ll be healed.

If I’m not healed, I must be doing something wrong.

I’d gone over to the dark side of the self-healing paradigm.

It wasn’t hard to find reinforcement of my shame.

There are plenty of medical providers who treat the chronically ill as if they’re lying, lazy, or just plain coo-coo.

It’s almost tougher with alternative mind-body healers. From the perfectly sensible to the outright bizarre, everyone had a suggestion to fix me. In one conversation, a peer related how she’d once cured a headache using a mind-body technique, and how I could do the same with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

None of it was working for me.

Depending on the day,  it was either me who was royally fucked up, or everyone else who just DIDN’T GET IT.

My mantra became “nobody understands.”

I tortured myself asking, Why can’t I fix this? What did I do wrong to end up like this? And my favorite, “What’s wrong with me???”

Ironically, it was me who didn’t understand.

Not being able to figure it out created an agony of spirit that was almost worse than the illness. 

I didn’t understand that trying to heal is futile.

If the mind is constantly preoccupied with healing, there is no rest. Without rest, there is no healing.

Finally, exhausted to the core of my soul, I gave up. 

It wasn’t yet a spiritual surrender, but it was a relief to let go of the struggle.

Eating healthy hadn’t helped, so I ate ice cream every night. I stopped researching treatments and ignored opinions. I gave in to being ill.
It was the first step in letting my soul rest.

Sometimes, giving up isn’t the end, but the beginning of healing.

I now had time for long hours of meditation. The illnesses granted me a way to pursue the yearning for expanded consciousness I’d been drawn to my entire life.

In meditation, aligned with my Higher Self/God/Universe, I saw that ALL IS WELL.

Using body intuition, I started making dietary changes based only on what my body was drawn to like a magnet. I allowed my body comfort and gentleness.
My body demanded rest, more than seemed reasonable, yet I kept hearing YES THIS…this is the ridiculous amount of rest that’s needed for healing.

RADICAL ACCEPTANCE became my new mantra. Here I was, a life coach preaching self love, and I hadn’t understood how to unconditionally love myself. 

Unconditional love means NO JUDGEMENT.  It means accepting the entirety of my life experience, even without fully understanding it. It means knowing I’m OK even when I’m not fully self aware, loving ALL OF IT; the not coping, resisting, staying stuck. Tricky business that.

Instead of getting defensive when I felt misunderstood, I tried to peacefully offer my truth.

Moments of joy, peace and gratitude overcame the moments of agony.

The illness was showing me where I needed to heal, and not just physically.

It even became easy to give up my nightly bowl of ice cream.

What happens when despite using all the formulas, visualizations and affirmations, the illness stays?

Illness can’t be willed away.

It can awaken us.

It’s a perfect teacher if we’re ready.

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SPIRIT MESSAGE OR JUST COINCIDENCE?

PUBLISHED DECEMBER 4TH, 2013

I recently spent time communing with my crow totem. Crows had been showing up everywhere, and when my totems show up, I pay attention. (Stay with me on the woo-woo, it’ll make sense in a minute.)

Sarah Seidelmann, in her book What the Walrus Knows, says this about animal totems: “The power of connecting with messages from the Beasties is that they reconnect us to the all-knowing part of ourselves, the divine part that knows that all is well and all will be well.”

Through meditation, I’d taken a mystical journey with my Crow brother. We’d played in the forrest. My spirit had shape-shifted to become the Crow, perched high in a tree looking down at my human self on the ground. During the meditation, my consciousness expanded into what felt like sacred realms.

The morning after the crow meditation, I went to my back door window and looked out. Seconds later, three crows flew down into my backyard! In the three years I’ve lived here, in all the hours sitting on my back porch, I’ve never seen crows on the ground in my yard! Not once!

I stood completely still and gazed out at them in awe.

The crows were big and sleek. Their ebony feathers shone in the sun as they moved about in the grass.

After a few minutes, two of the crows flew off away from the house. The third then flew directly towards me, as if meaning to fly straight to the back door where I stood. He veered around the pillars of the porch, at perfect eye level as I watched him fly by. I felt deliciously stunned by this dramatic appearance of a totem I’d just communed with the night before.

Highlights of the personal messages I received were these: “There’s magic in your life. There are no coincidences. Follow the call of your soul, however strange.”

Was it just a meaningless coincidence…just some birds on the lawn? Or, was it a Spirit message, a synchronicity full of mysticism and meaning?

I choose to think the latter is possible.

I don’t have to believe it. Instead, I can believe it’s possible.

Saying, “It’s possible,” opens a doorway to non-judgement and provides an opportunity for our mind to stretch beyond it’s limited programing. It expands our consciousness. 

It can also help us to navigate our lives.

Try this. Where are you suffering with something you don’t want in your life? Maybe a painful relationship or a funky financial situation?

Think about it. Now decide what it is that you DO want. Is it someone to love you, intimacy, or closeness? A feeling of security, comfort, or enough to share?

When you know what you DO want, say the words, “It’s possible.” For the moment, suspend skepticism.

Saying, “It’s possible,” relaxes the mind and shifts brain chemistry from stress to rest. It shifts the focus away from the problem and primes our mind to receive solutions.

It gives us an instant respite from worry.

We can make the powerful choice to tune our consciousness to possibility.

Doing so opens us to the mystery of the Universe.

There’s more to our precious lives than meets the eye. Soul and Spirit are alive and real. The Universe supports us.

We don’t have to believe it…but we can choose to believe it’s possible.

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THE VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER: UPDATE

PUBLISHED NOVEMBER20TH, 2013

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Do you remember when I told you I was hoping to not end up living in the Van Down by the River? (See Saturday Night Live skit: Down By the River)  

I also blogged about it here on Purelightcoaching.

It’s OK if you don’t, that was over a year ago. It was a really…let’s say…interesting time. Because of chronic illness, I could no longer support myself. Not only that, it seemed my whole future was being decided by a stranger in a Social Security hearing who would decide whether I was lying about being disabled. I’d reached the end of my financial resources, and sat with the sad multitudes in my local Social Services office to apply for interim help.

Back then, I told you I was getting the opportunity to practice what I preach, and since then… Oh Boy… have I practiced! When there was fear, I tried to practice gratitude. When there was doubt, I tried to practice faith that I was supported by the Universe.  I cursed and struggled when it all seemed to boil down to one thing…I needed Radical Rest.

Since then I’ve explored  feelings of shame, self- doubt and resistance.

I’ve also explored  faith, radical acceptance, spirit, energy, healing, consciousness, gratitude, abundance, joy and love.

My ego adores being on her soapbox. My Soul longs to share. Here’s a few ideas they’d both like to offer:

Sometimes giving up isn’t the end, but the beginning, of deep healing.

Chronic illness is a Great Teacher. I’m developing some opinions, based on my own healing journey, about mind/body healing philosophies.  I hope to be writing about this in the future.

Intentions are sacred.

When I hold an intention to trust in the Abundant Flow of Goodness in the Universe, my needs are miraculously met. Even if I can only hold the intention for a few seconds, the Universe bears witness. When I had zero zip dollars, every time I needed something it would appear. Someone would spontaneously hand me money, (Resisting receiving will be covered in a future blog) support came exactly on time, and without knowing how they would, things worked out fine.

I’ve embraced that fact that I’m about as Woo-Woo as they come. (For the Urban Dictionary definition of Woo-Woo click here) I’m done hiding that from anyone, including one daughter who thinks her Mom’s a little crazy, and who laughs when I tell her I need time to commune with my Crow Totem.

So here’s the deal.

I’m going to writing a lot more about  Spirit, Law of Attraction, Expanded Consciousness and even more crazy woo-woo stuff. 

I’m not saying every blog I write or newsletter I send out will be all angels and chakras, but you’ll feel the Woo. For todays woo-woo moment, get this. I’ve had a reminder in my calendar that said “newsletter goes out” set on bi-weekly Wednesdays.  I never turned it off when I stopped my work, maybe to remind myself someday I’d be back.  Today’s the day I chose to send out a brand new newsletter…a year and a half later…and right on time for my calendar to pop up with the reminder. I realize it’s a one in fourteen chance (MATH??) that I’d pick the same day I was sending out my old newsletters, but I’d like to think it’s possible that it’s more than a coincidence. More like a hearty wink from the Universe agreeing that I’m on right on track.

I’ve missed blogging and sending out my newsletters. We may not know each other, but know this…I feel like I’m writing to YOU when I write. It’s one of those “WE’RE ALL ONE AND CONNECTED IN ENERGY AND MY SOUL KNOWS IT” things. If you understand that, I hope you’ll continue to read my stuff.

Oh…and by the way…I never did end up living in that van down by the river!

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~ Anais Nin

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NEW YEAR’S EVE OF HIGH CONSCIOUSNESS

PUBLISHED DECEMBER 31ST, 2012

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New Year’s Eve has always been a strange holiday for me, the happiest ones spent hanging out in pj’s with my family, eating decadent snackies, watching silly movies and toasting with champagne at midnight.

Many others, not so great. Like one New Year’s Eve, invited by a new lover to go out on THE night, all gussied up and anticipating an evening of partying and romance. Instead, we ended up at his Mother’s, with her in curlers and robe, waiting for midnight. It wouldn’t have been so bad if I had known, he never bothered to tell me this was his idea of the highlight of our evening. I would have stayed home with my kids. Or the time heading to a New Year’s Eve dinner, I was so pissed I found myself screaming to stop the car so I could get the hell out. Or the ones when the anticipated romance morphed into a dry kiss forced out at Midnight. You see my pattern here.

The thought of New Year’s Eve makes me all tingly and happy, but the reality often never comes close to the fantasy.

So, I’m spending New Year’s Eve alone this year for the first time. It’s by choice, I’ve got options, but I hear clearly that this New Year’s Eve is mine alone… spending time with my sprit, soul, self.

I’m calling this one my New’s Years Eve of High Consciousness, including meditation and contemplation, a spa bath with relaxing herbs, maybe a little drinkie or two, and tantric bonding with the Universe. (not that kind of tantra.)

Am I doing the same thing this year, setting myself up for disappointment? Will I be lonely and pissed at midnight? I don’t think so. This feels so right, so clear.

At midnight tonight, I will be sending out love in Spirit to my loved ones, the Earth, the Universe, and to all beings. May all be happy on the journey, and find peace and release from suffering in the coming year. ♥

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FAITH IN THE HARD TIMES, ZEN IN THE CRAZY

PUBLISHED JULY 12TH 2012

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We Martha Beck life coaches talk about the fear of ending up living in a van by the river, (inspired by a hilarious Saturday Night Live skit) meaning the protective, primitive part of our brain spins THE SCARIEST worse case scenario meant to keep us in the safe status quo, which also keeps us from taking that risky leap into the life we truly desire.

I’m not in the van quite yet, but there’s not much left here but faith.

Crazy faith. That’s what I’m calling the faith I’m choosing to feel, instead of fear.

I’m not talking about religious faith, but my personal faith that says there are no mistakes or wrong turns, nothing has gone wrong and I’m really just having an experience that’s leading me into deeper spiritual awareness.

It’s crazy faith because measured by the outside world, things don’t look great. Still, there is a calm, quiet, part of me that knows I’m on the right path, now more than ever.

I’m going to confess to you a shocking truth, one which I’m sure in some life coaching circles will be considered nothing less than life coaching Hari Kari. My Life Coaching business isn’t supporting me. The fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue I’ve been dealing with for 7 years has forced me to stop doing anything, I’ve applied for Social Security Disability, and yes, taken the walk of shame into the social services offices for interim help. This so called “failure” is not the successful picture that clients want to see in a life coach.

 Staying in awareness, I see evidence every day that the universe/Divine/higher self hasn’t lead me down the wrong path, in fact I’m being lead into deeper and deeper territory of self awareness, peace, spirit, love, faith, and believe it or not, abundance.

Don’t get me wrong, there have been days lately when my lizard brain thrashes around and just makes a mess of me, but I’m blessed to know how to get out of that state easier and quicker than I would have ever thought possible a few years ago.

Now, I’m depending on what my faith says, that all is well, and that I am provided for in every moment.

There’s no failure, but success that I’ve arrived at a time in my life when I have an opportunity to practice what I preach. Things like this:

Suffering is optional.
Nothing is hard.
There is nothing wrong happening.
The universe will provide.
We create our own reality.
Everything painful thing that happens contains a gift.
The present moment is filled with bliss.
Stillness allows awakening to Spirit.
Everything happens for a reason.
Healing isn’t necessarily physically visible.
Abundance isn’t about money.
Synchronicities are not coincidence.
Gratitude is Alchemy.
There is something beyond what we see, call it Divine, Spirit, Source, Higher Self, Magic, God, Goddess, or quantum physics; it’s something  good that is more than the sum of this physical energy mass that we see as the world.
All is Well.

ALL IS WELL.

If I can somehow keep sharing those truths, I’m still doing my work in this world.

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ON THE ROAD WITH FEAR AND FLOW

PUBLISHED JUNE 21ST, 2012

It’s that hour or so before sunset, a perfect June evening with wisps of clouds painting the clear blue sky. I’m driving my little old Jeep Wrangler, on my way home from visiting my daughter, and as I come to my next turn, I go instantly into fight or flight mode.

It’s bumper to bumper on the busy route, cars screaming by on the four lanes in front of me, and with no traffic light, and miles of cars, no breaks to ease me into this clusterf**k of madness. This beautiful drive has now turned into a wheel- clutcher.

I’m headed to what we nor-easterners a-way-up-here in New York State call the Northway, the main highway above Albany, and I’ve accidentally hit rush hour coming up from the biggest city North of the Big Apple. By the time I get to the Northway on-ramp it will be a scene from hell, and I don’t do rush hours.

I suck it up, and making the decision to keep going I’ve now made it to the highway.  Starting up the ramp, my old Jeep Wrangler is a clumsy lumbering bear compared to the city-sleek shiny jaguars sprinting by me at high speed. Stepping on the gas, I find religion, say a few hail Mary’s and please God oh please oh Jesus, and throw my life into the tons of moving death-metal.

By some miracle I make it on to this narrow gray strip of transportation holy land, and now I’m joined with the millions of cars trekking north.

Pacing myself with the traffic and looking far ahead to the on ramps, I find the small spaces in front of me and adjust to allow on coming cars onto the highway. This, I will learn later, is the secret to what happens next.

I feel a shift in my being, like something has clicked into place, and suddenly everything around me is a beautiful moving landscape. I relax and notice I’m effortlessly maintaining my space in this moving stream of cars,  still driving in the peak of rush hour, but it feels different, better. I’ve entered into the experience, instead of resisting it.

As I stay in this state, I’m moving forward effortlessly, and I notice coming to the on ramps there is always enough room in front or in back of me for cars to flow into the moving stream. Seeing everything, the ribbon of scenic highway stretches out before me, trees and greenery cradle the highway, and it’s all dappled with the golden evening sun. I’m part of the landscape, a separate self yet flowing within it.

Now, instead of being scared and tense, I become happy, relaxed, interested, and aware. Instead of seeing of a picture of potential doom, I’m entranced by the delightful colors and movement blending around me. I realize I’ve spontaneously dropped into a state called Flow.

While writing this post I learned from another life coach that we create flow by focusing on open spaces, instead of obstacles, and it all made sense. By focusing on the open spaces ahead of me on the highway, my being clicked into wonderful, relaxed flow.

This Flow can happen anywhere in our lives. 

When we are focusing on what’s holding us back, on perceived obstacles, we’re resisting flow and it feels scary. When we look for the spaces, where we have room, we drop effortlessly into flow, and it feels like bliss.

If we look, there are always spaces in any situation that feel better, that have a sense of space. If it’s financial, we can find our open space by being grateful for what we have right now. If it’s emotional, we can look to where we see beauty, where we have hope, joy or love, naturally open and spacious states.

Try it. Is there a place in your life where it feels like there are only obstacles, and no flow? Look inward and feel around for where things are already all right, those are your spaces. Focus on the spaces, instead of the obstacles, and find your way back into the flow. 

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WHY WOMEN DIET

JUNE 7TH, 2012

Why Women Diet                                                          

(and read to the end for 

why they stop!)

1. To be attractive

2. To fit a cultural expectation

3. To be healthy

4. To attract a mate

5. To feel sexually attractive

6. To feel better physically

7. To fix disliked body parts

8. To have control over something when life is out of control

9. As a way to not have to make their own decisions about food

10. To feel better about themselves

11. To prove they can

12. To fix the thought that there is something wrong with them

13. To distract themselves from emotional pain

14. To get attention (when they’re thinner)

15. To relieve stress

16. To prepare for an event, i.e. class reunion, wedding

17. As a way to reach perceived perfection

18. To lose weight

19. To fit into smaller sized clothes

20. To compete with other women

21. As an attempt to fix a distorted body image

22. To prove their worthiness

23. To fix their low self esteem

24. To obtain a feeling of success

25. To avoid feeling bad about themselves

26. To distract themselves from inner issues

27. To stop feeling fat

28. To escape criticism

29. To please a mate or another significant person

30. To fix a health issue

31. To distract themselves from a painful life situation

32. To ease fear of abandonment

33. To fix self loathing

Why Women Stop Dieting

1. They get tired of it and give up

2. They keep gaining the weight back anyway

3. It doesn’t work, they don’t lose weight

4. The underlying issue gets resolved, finding a partner etc.

5. They choose not to

6. Some other life issue takes precedence

7. The wedding, reunion etc, is over

8. They discover the diet is bad for their emotional, mental and/or physical health

9. They find a healthier way to live

10. ~They become filled up with the love and desires of their own voluptuous souls!

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BODY LANGUAGE

PUBLISHED APRIL 26, 2012

body

Diet. Food. Scale. Weight. What do you feel when you hear those words? For most women, they are loaded with negativity. 

How about these: Fat, skinny, overweight.

We use language to tell a story, and choose words that give it meaning.

We say, I’m overweight. I’m underweight. Never the ideal weight the charts tell us we should be. (How often have you heard a woman say, “I’m ideal!”) We give our imperfect bodyweight so much importance, it becomes a measure of who we are. We say “I am” these things, as if that define us. The simple measure of our body-mass tells us we aren’t meeting standards of perfection, and on a deeper level becomes attached to our worthiness to receive love, attention and affection.

We use derogatory language to describe our body parts like pot-belly, thunder-thighs, fat-ass, cellulite and dear god, stretch marks. How often do we hear a woman say, “I hate my [insert body part here].” There is nothing beautiful or loving about those words.
What if we said this instead? I am bodyfull! I am substantial! I am here! My body has a place here. I belong here. Being in my body is safe and loving. We can start by changing the language we use to describe the parts of our body we don’t like, or even hate. How about soul curves, thighs of many journeys, weight of wisdom, love markings? 
Our bodies tell us we are here now, in this moment. It holds messages for us, gives us pleasure, tells our stories, and is part of our holy existence. We know we are here in this universe, we are real right now, our body says so. What happened that made us think so differently?
Are you listening to the story of your body? Is it tired, sad, glad to be here? Can you hear it whispering your deepest desires? What stories of honor do your scars tell, and what path does your body desire now? Can you let your body lead, and trust that it will lead you to your soul’s desires, instead of making it conform to someone else’s  standards and desires? Imagine how your body would respond if you started telling your body-story in the language of love!

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WHAT DOES IT MEAN???

PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 23RD, 2012

rainbow

Remember the double rainbow guy on YouTube, entranced by the sight of it and pleading, “What does it mean???”  

That’s my life mantra, a mantra that can also be annoying and can distract me from just enjoying what-is in the moment.

I made an intention at bedtime a few nights ago to get a blog post idea from a dream, a suggestion straight from another dream-girl, Laurie Foley, in her Blog More Monthly rapid writing class. Simple, yes?

Oh I had dreams all right. I’ve been muddling around with them for days asking, “what does it mean???”

I dreamt I was walking on the earth, in green shrubbery. I dreamt I was writing. (Love!) I dreamt I was on stage acting in a play. (Fun, but not in my waking world!) And then the coolest dream, I was flying over a pool. It was an indoor pool, but still…I was flying!

The coach and mystic me starts up the, “What does it mean???” First of all, huh? Where’s my damn blog post in all this? Then the questions: Am I ready to fly? Am I already flying? Is it my higher self that is flying? Is it my future self as an angel? (Everybody else at the pool were in their bathing suits, I was flying in a long white flowing garment) And what’s with the acting anyway?

It finally dawned on me that the four sacred elements were present in the dreams, separate elements making up parts of a whole. Earth. Air. Water. The Fire of creativity. I am made of all these things. At times I’m grounded, and at times I mystically fly. When I’m grounded I feel my sweet earthly bonds to divine creation. When I’m flying, I feel divinely free.

What does it mean?

All of those dreams felt good. Together they tell a story of me, and the message was to know when to stop analyzing and enjoy the uber-cool moments in life without wasting too much time and energy asking, “what does it mean???” When you have your moment of flying, for god’s sake, try to enjoy it as much as you can!

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THREE SECOND LIES

MARCH 7TH, 2012

He was lying to me. What I didn’t realize then was that he wasn’t the only one telling lies.

How many three-second lies have I believed?

I can handle this.

It’s not so bad.

This will get better.

I can make him understand me.

I must be wrong.

It only takes a three-second lie to change the entire direction of a life.

There are big elaborate lies, and little white lies, but the ones with the most power are the ones we tell ourselves, the ones that take just a few seconds.

Like subliminal advertising on a TV screen, they flash through our mind long enough for the brain to register, but not quite long enough to hold in our conscious awareness.That’s part of their sneaky power. Allow them to continue and we begin believing them, until they become unmerciful dictators over our feelings, choices, and ultimately our life.

Turns out, every argument we had about his lies was a lesson teaching me how I was lying to myself.

I started listening to the truth whispering in my soul.

I learned that my desires to be free, to be happy, to leave a situation causing pain and to live my life on my own terms were Sacred. Holy. The truth was more powerful than the lies.

Now I practice hearing the truth.

We have a built in lie detector, and it’s simple

Lies hurt. Truth heals. Lies shackle our spirit. Truth frees us. We know the difference.

What the hell do we do when we discover these lies? It can be a scary shock, knowing we’ve been deceived only by ourselves; we are the only ones responsible for our misery, and ultimately, our happiness. With that discovery we’re ready to start listening for the truth.

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NO APOLOGIES, THIS WAS NOT OK WITH ME

PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 17TH, 2012

The video of the Father shooting his daughter’s laptop went viral last week, eight minutes and twenty-three seconds of him explaining why he did it (teaching her a lesson for complaining about him on her facebook page), what he thought of her (using words like lazy ass and stupid) and why this fifteen year old deserved this public lesson (she was disrespectful and unappreciative). Zooming in on his handgun and continuing his commentary he fired 9 bullets, which he described as exploding hollow point rounds, into her laptop.

It got to me. It triggered a mess of feelings from my own past, and deep sadness witnessing first hand how a woman starts down a path of self loathing and fear of speaking her truth. 

I think about my clients. Every one of them are caring, compassionate, loving, generous women making a difference in this world, except when it comes to themselves.

In sessions with me women shamefully reveal they’ve failed at everything, they can’t do things right, have guilt over awful things they’ve done that can’t be forgiven, can’t make themselves do what they should be doing, repeatedly put themselves down, see all of their good qualities as no big deal and can’t take credit for being anything but ordinary. They, like many women, have been conditioned to be fundamentally insecure.

They suffer in painful relationships and think they are somehow fundamentally flawed, have only a vague idea of their own identity apart from the relationships that define them, and are estranged from living a meaningful life they deeply desire. Their unresolved emotional pain leaves little room joy or happiness and drives their life choices.

It is entirely possible to reverse this conditioning.

My clients discover they have deep wells of personal soul wisdom, and once found we keep listening to it until they can believe in their worthiness and trust themselves and eventually love and live in their soul truth. They learn to laugh gently at so called failures and mistakes and embrace them as part of their being, like a little girl who just tipped over the glass and the shards are everywhere and the water has spilled out, and while she is crying she is scooped up and held tight and told it’s just an accident, you didn’t mean any harm, we all make mistakes, and are you alright???

Maybe that video was just one of those moments all parents of teenagers can relate to when the crazy button gets pushed one time too many, just 8 bad minutes out of 15 years of great parenting. Still, my heart broke for that young girl.

Yes, as a parent it must have hurt deeply seeing your child publicly act out against you. The question is, who has the power here? Is it the child of 15, with her teenage acting out, who will shape her parent’s future well being? In those eight minutes, and other countless moments in a child’s life, it’s the parent holding that power; shaping her self image, patterning how she will choose her relationships, coloring her opinion of herself and influencing every decision she makes for herself now and in her future.

I want to see the video where the father says, I love you, I’m strong enough to take it, and in spite of your behavior I still see you as a fundamentally good person. Where is the 8:23 minute video about how amazing our kids are and how generous, fantastic, kind and loving they are and how just by being here, they are miraculous human beings? In the world I long to see, that’s the video that goes viral.

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DO YOU FEEL GUILTY?

PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 2, 2012

Mommy guilt. Spousal guilt. Workplace guilt. Spiritual guilt. As a women’s coach I see us shouldering massive amounts of guilt, and research studies agree. Depending on which study you read, women are either hard wired for empathy or conditioned through cultural messages to feel responsible for everyone and everything. Women are being driven to exhaustion over this emotion running amok. Not immune, I even feel guilty about cutting a conversation short with my daughter today to get this blog out.

Guilt certainly has it’s place, it’s built into our moral code to keep us from doing all kinds of harm. If I stole money from someone, unless I were mentally ill I would feel remorseful and appropriately guilty.

We get confused between guilt and obligation: as a mother I am obligated to make sure my children are fed, safe and loved, which is my appropriate responsibility. Guilt is a feeling of responsibility on steroids, an irrational feeling of responsibility beyond obligation which can turn into false guilt. False guilt says that I, and I alone, have to provide for every single need my child/friend/partner/parent/boss/world has, at every moment, and if I can’t or don’t there is something wrong with me.

False guilt is a mind vampire sucking our emotional and mental energy. It wears us out, makes us feel like crap and distracts us from what’s really going on. Doing things out of guilt can prevent us from finding our true purpose in life, and by giving into it’s powerful, addictive seduction of making us feel valuable and needed, we often sacrifice we really want and need on a deep, soul level.

With false guilt, there’s an underlying story telling a lie about what is really happening. When we feel guilty, we tell ourselves there is something wrong, but if we’re brave enough to look, guilt can be a message from our essential self, a message of self-love and indicator that it’s time to take a deeper look at what is going on.

Looks Like False Guilt

False guilt is connected to shame; feeling bad about ourselves when we think there is something we should have done, should be doing, or should do in the future. It includes shame about feelings or emotions we think we shouldn’t be having.

If you are hearing yourself say you SHOULD or HAVE TOdo something, look for signs of false guilt.

False guilt says there will be some horrible damage if you don’t do something.Your kids will end up as drug dealers, your friends will have nervous breakdowns without you, the world market will collapse, and global warming is your fault because you still drive a non-hybrid car.

False guilt is breaking some kind of internal rule, some impossibly high standard you have made for yourself.

It often has to do with providing for someone else’s needs and comfort, which we must provide because we are the only ones who can do it right dammit!

With false guilt, there is an underlying pressure to do everything right, ala perfectionism, usually based on unreasonable expectations of ourselves.

False guilt has can be found in relationships and when we feel like we’re not doing everything right to make it all OK.

False guilt pushes you to do things that are beyond your own personal limits of time, physical emotional or mental states, or comfortable boundaries.

Most important: False guilt is a message from your deepest self, asking you for permission to take care of your deepest, most essential needs.

If you are feeling guilty, ask yourself these questions: 

Is there an end of the world scenario built into your guilt? (If there is, it’s probably false guilt.)

What are you yearning to do, INSTEAD of the thing that is making you feel guilty, and which of your own personal needs would be met by doing that?

What permission to you want to give yourself? Do you need more physical, emotional or mental rest, play, downtime or boundaries from draining unhealthy situations?

Will the person or situation you are feeling guilty about really suffer permanent damage without you?

False guilt can be a message that there are needs crucial to our wellbeing that aren’t getting met. We may need more time for rest, alone time to recharge, or just time to do something else that is important to us.

We’ve been taught to think it’s selfish to put our own needs first but here’s the paradox; when we take care of ourselves, the more love, time and energy we have for our loved ones and the world. My daughter isn’t going to suffer today because we talked for only 10 minutes (not our usual hour) and she’s certainly capable of getting her needs met by calling someone else if she still needs to talk. In the long run, she benefits when she has a Mother who stays true to her purpose in the world…and here’s a confession… I’m secretly guilty that she’s proud of me!

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HOW TO BE BEAUTIFUL, YOUNG, AND LOVEABLE

PUBLISHED JANUARY 18TH, 2012

Want to feel better about yourself as a woman, stop worrying about your weight, your wrinkles and your looks? Just stop buying magazines, watching TV, or going to the movies.

If you think I exaggerate, the next time you have a women’s magazine in your hands, look at the ads.

loveable

On the back cover of a recent issue of Prevention, a popular health magazine, is Harrison Ford in his Got Milk ad. In Jeans and T, sporting the classic milk mustache, he is admittedly a damn sexy man. What’s obvious is his wrinkles and his aging face, but something about his casually relaxed pose suggests that this old man is still a sexually desirable old man, saggy jowls and all.

Inside the magazine is a different story if you happen to be a woman.  

In this one issue there are 20 ads targeting women, including 10 pages of full-page ads, taking up more space than any one of the articles on health in the magazine. Here is the list:

1. Loreal. Eliminate 10 signs of aging (Full page ad, 2 pages)  2. Loreal. See up to 10 years disappear (another 2 page ad) 3. Loreal. “I’ll always be too young to be gray.” 4. Prevention Magazine contest: Win the Defy Your Age Tool Kit, 24 beauty products for erasing signs of aging and lookingyour very best. 5. Maybelline: It’s a new age in anti-aging; The Eraser (Full page ad, 2 pages) 6. Elizabeth Arden: You are beautiful stay that way: Gold Ultra Restorative Capsules Intensive Treatment for face and throat. 7. Full page ad: Look your best beauty ad for 3 products. Catch phrase: “Look more lovable.” 8. Another page mentioning products already advertised on previous page. Heading: Fight the Signs of Aging. 9. 2 page article on double duty beauty foods. 10. Tired of watching your weight Jenny Craig ad. 11. Garnier: Deeper wrinkles? Demand intensive action ultra lift DEEP wrinkle day cream. 12. Cover Girl Lash Perfection (no scary threat of getting old and wrinkled, but you can reach for being perfect!) Defy Your Age Challenge: A multipage advertisement disguised as an article, promoting the following: 13. Neutragena rapid wrinkle repair 14. ROC eye cream. (Yes, I have used this one.) 15. ROC multiple correction lift anti-gravity eye cream. 16. Olay Total effects 7-in-1 advanced anti-aging 17. Cover Girl Simply Ageless liquid makeup. 18. Philosophy purifying enzyme peel. 19. Olay Regenerist. Relax the look of wrinkles in an instant. (2 pages)

20. Olay UV defense regenerating lotion for FIRM SKIN. Gravity doesn’t stand a chance.

What have we learned?

Men don’t need these products. Aging is a woman’s condition that needs treatment with advanced intervention, and any evidence of aging should be eliminated, erased and disappear. Don’t ever age or admit to getting older, age is to be hidden. You will look your best only if you get rid of signs of aging. Aging is something to be against, as in: anti-aging. Your looks define your beauty. If your looks aren’t perfect, you aren’t beautiful. It takes intense effort and investment to restore your looks and stay beautiful and young, you must defy, demand, fight, intervene, correct, defend and eliminate what isn’t youthful or beautiful. If you are beautiful (youthful), you must make the effort to stay that way. If you allow your face to get wrinkled and your throat to sag, you aren’t beautiful. Makeup makes you lovable. Not just lovable, more lovable. Wait no, it makes you LOOK more lovable. (Tricky.) There are wrinkles, and then there are DEEP wrinkles. (Scary.) We don’t just need wrinkle repair, we need rapid, instant wrinkle repair. Wrinkles are an emergency! We need to be corrected, perfected, repaired and purified. You must change how you look to be beautiful, youthful, lovable. Your looks, not your being, your soul or your wisdom, determine your self-esteem, value, beauty, worth and lovableness.

What if girls and young women were exposed to the grace and beauty of all women at all ages, instead of fear? The beauty industry would go out of business.

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I THINK WE’RE ALONE NOW

PUBLISHED JANUARY 4, 2012

I’m alone yet I’m not alone. A koan. Thoughts happening as I’m reading Martha Beck’s new book, Finding Your Way In a Wild New World, the chapter about entering into the peace of wordlessness; on koans, riddles that have no answer that can fling you right into a wordless state. (You’ve probably heard this one: If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? That’s a koan.)

I’ve been depressed the last few days, a combo of a new medication, time of year, illness, after holiday blues. Practicing being thankful for my breath, thankful for my life, waking up to life yet another day. Yet feeling empty, unfulfilled. Lonely.

Reading in the chapter about turnarounds, taking a so-called truth and turning it to the opposite to get more truth, I ponder the thought, I’m alone. I’m not alone. A koan, seemingly opposite truths.

I’m not alone. In one of those “ah HA” flashes I realize, I have myself. When do I feel lonely? When my “self” is thinking negative, depressing thoughts. When it sucks to be with myself. When I’m thinking good thoughts, and just enjoying every moment, I love being with myself. If my inner world is crappy, of course I don’t want to be alone with it. So I seek out a companion to get my mind out of the crap in there, and focus on their crap instead. (Past tense.)

I am never alone. I have my own thoughts to keep me company. Now there’s a koan, who’s keeping who company! If my thoughts are pleasant and peaceful, I don’t mind being alone. But when my thoughts start to get unpleasant, that’s when I get lonely. ‘Cause it’s no fun to be alone with me.

It’s so important for us, for women, to be content with ourselves first. And then to share our lives from that contentment, not from the need to get away from ourselves, our pain, and our sucky thoughts that bring us down.

I’m enjoying chill music right now. I’m reveling in the green and beauty of my house plant jungle. I’m thankful for my two grown daughters and grandchildren, and that we all adore each other. I love the way my mind works; fascinated with brain science. I love the uplifting of positive thoughts and miracles in thinking that occur when we…I…try just a little. I love learning things every day. I love that there is good in the world. I love that I can get warm in the middle of a Northeastern winter. I have ideas. I can reach out if need be. I am not alone.

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I’M NOT IDEAL, ARE YOU?

PUBLISHED DECEMBER 7TH, 2011

Lately I’m noticing more and more discussions about detoxing,0001hH
green smoothies, ideal weight, bad fructose, lactose and carbs, evil additives, yeast, wheat, gluten, soy, hormones, wait there’s more…arsenic in juice, lead in food, mercury in fish, cancer causing chemicals in cosmetics, and poisons in the air, water, and soil that we must purge from our bodies before we can be well.If you have a chronic illness like mine you know that there are even bad vegetables, and  new/old never heard of before botanicals from the jungle that will probably cure it, for $49.99 a month.  

I’m thinking maybe the answer to wellness isn’t so obvious. I’m all for doing what’s right for my body. I haven’t seen the inside of the Golden Arches in years, use mostly natural bath and body stuff, eat mostly organic, have eliminated harsh cleaners, and stay away from unnecessary medications. Still, I feel a little sad lately listening to people constantly striving for the ideal weight, searching for the perfect smoothie, going through yet another purge, and shelling out for the newest cure. I see the struggle, and the painful failure to get there, instead of healing what’s here right now.

I’ve been there. Maybe healing has absolutely nothing to do with what you are doing with your body. Maybe healing has nothing to do with fixing the problems.

Healing isn’t fixing. Healing isn’t curing. Healing doesn’t come from pushing yourself towards the goal of a perfect, or even ideal body. Healing is connection to spirit, where everything is already OK. Healing is hearing the soul’s longing, and finding time to listen to that longing first; before the diet, the smoothie, the supplement, the detox or the ideal weight. Healing is knowing that wherever you are on the continuum of physical health, you are already OK. Healing is knowing that even if you get sick, get depressed, get fat, get cancer, fall out of the race, find yourself screaming in frustration and crying in agony, it’s all still the way it’s supposed to be, and you are already OK. You haven’t done a damn thing wrong and there is nothing, and no one to blame. It’s accepting every part of our human condition; the extra weight, the compulsive acts, the bad habits that haunt us, the things we hide in shame, the unloved parts of us. It’s about finding the first steps to real wellness in that radical acceptance. It’s being able to lovingly embrace ourselves, even if we’re wandering lonely and lost on the road, parched and hungry and ugly ragged dirty, and still worthy of every good thing just for being on the journey. It’s about discovering our soul in that journey, and finding ourselves there, seeing we are already beautiful, already whole and already well.

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OCCUPY YOURSELF

PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 9TH, 2011

We’ve all seen the evocative pictures of the protestors of Occupy Wall Street, which began as a loosely organized march on New York City’s financial district and has now spread around the world. Starting as a rally cry against the disparity of income in the United States, these mostly younger people, labeled hippies or lazy bums, decided they’d had enough and not only marched; they set up camp. They courageously claimed the space they were told was both literally and symbolically off limits to them, where they had no right to belong, and declared it was now rightfully theirs.

It wasn’t orderly, it wasn’t well planned, and it wasn’t pretty.

Now we need another movement, a personal movement to Occupy Ourselves, and the Occupy Wall Street movement shows us exactly how.

On the surface this protest is about income and money, with money deciding who has the power to make decisions about basic human rights. It’s about who gets to define those rights, and who determines the standards measuring our value. On a much deeper level, this protest is about who has a say in our own self-worth.

Like the protestors in this movement, we know exactly where we need to occupy ourselves. We feel it in our bones, not as a well executed plan, but as that nagging feeling without words that tells us we aren’t in the right place, and that there has to be change.

The protestors believe in their personal value, in spite of not meeting someone else’s external standards. They reject being measured by the size of a bank account. They declare the definition of their own self-worth, and how they want to be treated as human beings.

They’ve seen the need for change, and reached a tipping point where they can no longer be quiet. They’ve asked for change, not quietly or nicely, but noisily and radically.

They’ve occupied. They’ve moved out of their comfort zones and gone to the place where it would be the most uncomfortable, knowing the high risk of opposition and the probability of conflict. They’ve taken up residence where it matters the most.

We eventually recognize where we are allowing others to define our value, that our self-worth is demanding we speak up and ask for change, and when it’s time move out of our safety and comfort zone to take action were it will matter the most.

We know it will be uncomfortable and messy. My god what happens when we act on this feeling? We’d end up like those protesters, living in tents, with just the clothes on our backs and an uncertain future. Yet what strikes me is the look on every protestors face…you’ve seen it…the look of deep knowing that in spite of the conditions, they know they are involved in something of profound importance, meaningful beyond themselves. That is the feeling we are really longing for, the feeling that happens in our soul when we answer the call to occupy ourselves.

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STOP BEING A NICE PERSON!

PUBLISHED OCTOBER 26, 2011

Are you a nice person?              

I hope not.Women especially are expected to be nice, and our value is measured by our “niceness.” Our identity became connected with niceness when as children, our behaviors were relentlessly labeled as nice or not nice. How many times were we scolded with the words, “that’s not nice!” Carrying this shaming message into adulthood we habitually sacrifice our own needs, at the risk of becoming so burnt out we end up not being nice to anyone, including ourselves.

Just Being Nice?

There is subtle, but telling difference between being nice, and being kind.One desires a situation of comfort, while the other intends a higher good.

The goal of niceness is often to make things more comfortable, or to insure someone’s continued good feelings. We relieve the tension of conflict by being nice. We avoid our own discomfort by being nice. Niceness can make us feel good momentarily, but in the long run we pay the high price of sacrificing our own precious needs. When we practice kindness, our intention is for the highest good and wanting the best for someone, including ourselves, but doesn’t always result in comfort. Being kind to ourselves or someone else may mean saying no, when doing the nice thing would have meant saying yes.

When we stop being nice we are forced to face feelings of guilt. The direct antidote for niceness is permission.Trade in guilt and shame for permission to take care of yourself. The minute you feel any guilt, stop, and listen. Guilt is a message from your deepest self, asking you for permission to fill an unmet, important desire; to give yourself something you need. It’s you, asking yourself for permission to love yourself.

Stop Being Nice!

Give yourself permission to say no to obligations and people that sap your energy.  You know exactly when your deeper self is saying no. Honor yourself by calmly saying no to family, friends, or co-workers while dropping any tone of defensiveness or anger. Say something like this: “I’d really love to [insert activity], but I’m learning to respect my own limits of time and energy, and it’s crucial for my health to respect those limits. Please keep me in mind for next time!” More than your words, the energy of your self-respect is what will be heard. When you do say no, it’s surprising how people will find their own solutions to problems that in the past we would have jumped in to fix.

Being nice can be a smokescreen for excessive care-taking, which ironically can be a selfish way of getting approval and love. Give yourself permission to stop care-taking, for children and adults alike, who are capable of doing it themselves. Saying no is a sign of strength, not weakness, and gives other people the opportunity to grow. You may be denying another human being an important learning experience when you deny them the chance to find solutions that don’t involve you. Saying no may be the kindest thing you do.

Instead of saying yes to everyone, give yourself permission for rest and rejuvenation. One of the greatest unmet needs of women today is getting enough rest, which is different from falling into bed exhausted at day’s end. Honor your body when it asks for rest. The fatigue we feel is a direct message to stop and rest, and it isn’t nice OR kind to ourselves or anyone else to be living life half asleep.

Be kind to yourself by starting a habit of taking little rest breaks. Give yourself permission to have some time without any interruptions, and make your need for rest a high priority. Learn techniques, like Dan Howard’s Intentional Resting, that allow you to get deep rest anywhere in just a few minutes.

Cheryl Richardson, in her book Extreme Self Care, says this: “I’ve learned that when we care for ourselves deeply and deliberately, we naturally begin to care for others – our families, our friends and the world – in a healthier and more effective way.” So stop being nice, practice kindness instead, and go make the world a better place!

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HOW TO MAKE DECISIONS WHEN WE DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO

PUBLISHED OCTOBER 12, 2011

Have you ever gotten stuck trying to make a crucial decision? You know the feeling, back and forth and should I or shouldn’t I in your mind until the confusion

starts to make your head hurt! We make the pros and cons list, ask our friends, mull over the facts and call our favorite psychic, but how do really know which decision is the right one?

Martha Beck life coaches talk about a decision making tool called the Body Compass, created by Martha Beck and found in her book Finding Your Own North Star, describing it as body signals, gut feelings and other sensations unique to each of us that can be counted on to tell the truth about a situation, even when the conscious mind is confused and has no idea what it’s doing.

Busting the Woo Woo Factor

Not just a pretty theory, even brain science backs up the effectiveness of this decision making tool. In his book Incognito:The Secret Lives of the Brain, David Eagleman shares scientific research that supports the Body Compass as a superior decision making tool, better than our conscious reasoning. He shares a study conducted by a researcher who proposed that “the feelings produced by physical states of the body come to guide behavior and decision making.”

In the study, subjects picked cards from 4 decks, with each card representing a gain or loss of money, from pre-stacked decks making 2 decks “good” and 2 “bad.” Subjects drew one card at a time, and were asked at various points which decks they thought were good and which were bad. The subject’s autonomic nervous system, the “unconscious” part of our nervous system that regulates fight or flight and drives our “gut feeling” response, was closely monitored with each draw. The study found that by the thirteenth card drawn, the nervous system of the subject reacted with a warning if they were drawing from a “bad” deck. Surprisingly, it took another 12 more draws, up to 25 cards, before the subjects consciously figured out which decks were bad and which were good.

As Eagleman says, This means conscious knowledge of the situation was not required for making advantageous decisions!”

The study shows our conscious mind is a slacker when it comes to making good decisions, and our Body Compass is our silent secret weapon guiding us in the right direction!

Take Your Compass Out of Your…Pocket

Our body stores our response to good and bad events in our memory, so to find our own unique Body Compass we can bring up good or bad memories and pay close attention to sensations in the body that come up. Different from strong emotions like love or fear, the body compass is directly experienced as sensations in the body like cold hands, warm chest, light shoulders or even tingles, like Spiderman’s spidey sense. When we have a big decision to make, we can look for those subtle messages from our body that tell us the truth long before our conscious mind gets tired and confused trying to figure it out.

Experiment using your Body Compass with smaller decisions, like what to have for lunch or which road to take home, and practice learning the gift of the message system stored in your body. Staying true to ourselves by following our own compass can point us in the right direction to our own true north star; our bigger purpose and decisions that bring us closer to our ultimate joy and fulfillment in life!

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IS THE RESPONSIBLE THING TO DO ALWAYS THE RIGHT THING?

PUBLISHED MARCH 23, 2011

For 18 months I have been trying to keep the home I left behind in a divorce out of foreclosure. Every decision about this home: to keep it or sell it, put it on the market, price it, lower the price, fix it up, clean it up, and on and on for 18 months has brought me back into the same dynamics that led me to the divorce. I was the fixer, the first responder, the firefighter, the accountant, the consultant, the mediator, the adviser, the counselor, and the parent; the responsible one always doing it right. Because, let’s face it, if I didn’t do it, it was never getting done right, or getting done at all.  Each time something has come up with the house, I’ve been right in there, putting in time, energy, thought and struggle trying to work with a system that failed in the first place. And every time I ended up with an internal black whole draining my energy and joy, wondering what was wrong with me that made me feel so crappy.
Now the situation is a big fat mess, both literally and figuratively. Once again I’ve jumped right it and started organizing the clean up, and once again, it’s made me sick with exhaustion and pain. My body is screaming at me that this an extremely toxic, unhealthy situation and that trying to fix it will only continue to make me ill. The problems, one after another, that keep happening with the house are created by the same energy that created an unhealthy marriage.
Unfortunately, all of this also involves my name on a mortgage and doing the RIGHT thing. I know the right thing. Keep fixing the problems, keep putting out all the fires, because that’s what the mortgage company, the realtor, and the “ex” all expect. If I don’t, there is a real possibility that the house will foreclose.
Until now.This week I made the decision to not do the right thing. I’m walking away from the whole mess. I’m taking off my firefighting gear, and putting down that bucket of water I keep throwing on a raging inferno.
In the eyes of the financial world I’ve done a very bad thing, but my feeling of relief is so strong it almost makes me dizzy.
I’m trusting the wild intuition that is telling me to walk away and preserve my health. I could keep trying fix things, which might even stop a foreclosure. But at what price? My internal signals are clear even though on the outside it looks like a disaster. I’m choosing to follow those signals even though I know the outcome isn’t clear at all. I’ve received a big lesson in trusting myself, my body signals, my gut feelings and my courage, and trusting all of that in spite of what the world may think. The choice that looks so wrong to the world may be, in the long run, the one most necessary for my soul.

Sometimes, trust in ourselves is the only available option for peace.

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WILD CHILD

PUBLISHED MARCH 9TH, 2011

Creating my new coaching group, Wild Women Don’t Get The Blues, got me thinking about what it means to be a Wild Woman.
I have a Wild Woman guru in my life. She is full of energy, happiness and seemingly inexhaustible momentum. She is empowered and creative, smart and sassy. When she bounces into a room, she fills it with her shining presence.
This fierce Wild Woman teacher is also only six years old. She is my granddaughter.
What is her wild nature? She is openly loving, kind, and creative, with a wickedly sharp sense of humor. She immerses herself in every moment, adoring colors, smells, flowers, music, chocolate, clouds, dogs, babies and other beings. She still loves her body completely and finds pleasure in spontaneous movement, running, nakedness, touch and sensation. She gives herself over to play, whether it be tumbling with Dad or quietly coloring. She is also self-centered and stubborn, (normal for her age), and can be quite devious and sarcastic, traits her family jokingly admits may be inherited.  Above all, it’s her natural state of being knowing that we don’t worship her any less than she worships herself.
I’ve overheard remarks about this wild child like: Be careful she doesn’t get a big head. She is spoiled. Her parents need to get her UNDER CONTROL. Those voices echo the intense fear and shame we learned when we were told that being our natural, wild, loud and proud self was NOT OK.
Being identified as a wild woman these days is not a compliment. A wild woman is depicted as being out of control, crazy or drunk. Think; Girls Gone Wild videos.
To be truly wild is neither out of control or crazy. It is beautiful and free.There is peace in our wildness, knowing we have all we need. There is silence and stillness in our wildness, as well as the loudness of celebration and excitement. Our wild self is kind and loving, but surprisingly fierce when threatened. Our wild self doesn’t have to consider the meaning of self-love, she already loves and adores herself naturally. It’s who we are, before we were told to sit down, be nice, and be quiet.
This wild, untamed nature knows how to navigate the journey on the wild paths of our lives. It’s our wild woman self that supplies the fierce courage needed to cut ourselves loose from whatever keeps us trapped, and direct us back to freedom.
What really makes us out of control and crazy is our fear, not our wildness. Our true, wild nature gives us back control, empowers us and keeps us sane. Every woman I know has some sense of this wild, inner being, and longs to know her better. We can. It is only we who hold the power to allow her to be free.

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I’M NO BUDDHA

PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 9TH, 2011

One of my favorite expressions in Life Coaching is “live it to give it.” Martha Beck said it best: “You can’t get directions back from hell from someone who has never visited.” Yes, I’ve been there.

Today, for no apparent reason, I’m feeling happy and content.  I’m grateful, remembering, not long ago, this was rare.

This prompted a list how I’ve changed over the last few years, and it blew me away.

Here’s the list.

1. I’m now a positive person, an optimist. This sounds cliche, but I’d spent years constantly complaining, (ask my previous work mates) worrying, and having little control over fearful thoughts, seemingly the most terrifying at 3:00AM. (See #5)

2. I have goals. In the past, my cynical reaction to listing one, five, or ten year goals was, “Yeah, right.” It was hard enough to get through the next day, much less have goals for the next year.

3. Until last year, I had a steady paycheck and the financial security of a partner. Now I don’t have either, and having more uncertainty than ever I’m also the most peaceful I’ve ever been.

4. Since childhood, I’ve had frequent nightmares. Now rare, even better, I sometimes have really GREAT dreams! Recently: I climb into a shiny, super fast cool car driven by a gorgeous man to a mountaintop, joining the crowd admiring a stunning view. Hell yeah!

5. I used to wake up in the quietest part of the night and get stuck in fearful, morbid thoughts. Now if my mind starts testing the old paths, most nights I easily put up the “detour” sign and go back to sleep.

6. I no longer punish my body to make it acceptable for someone else. I spent years in the gym while literally counting every calorie, and it wasn’t for health reasons. My body is much curvier and softer now then when I was “sexy.” My body desires kindness, not conformity.

7. I used to get angry with the human race. Now I’ve resigned as the judge of everyone’s bad behavior, and instead, send compassionate blessings to those walking difficult journeys that thankfully, aren’t mine.

At 52 years old I’m finally experiencing joy, peace and happiness, feelings that before were only illusive ideas. Believe me, I’m no Buddha, but now the good days outweigh the bad, by far.

While writing this my mind started arguing with me, (as our minds will do) murmuring lies like, “Nothing miraculous has happened, you’re just mellowing with age.” Then I remember seeing firsthand those who never got relief from their struggle with painful thoughts and feelings reflected in their sad lives. Starting with myself, I’m spreading the message of hope that it’s never to late to start believing that change is possible.

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RESOLUTIONS. WHY?

PUBLISHED DECEMBER 29, 2010

Are you making resolutions on New Year’s Eve? Doing a quick search on the internet I found the top 10 New Year’s resolutions for 2011. They are, in random order:
1. Lose weight.
2. Get organized.
3. Quit smoking.
4. Pay off debt.
5. Spend less, save more.
6. Spend more time with family.
7. Enjoy life to the fullest.
8. Get fit.
9. Learn something new.
10. Fall in love.
There are a few variations on the list, but the main topics are the same; either stopping a bad habit, or doing more of something that brings happiness.
Contemplating the list I realized there is really only one goal we have when making our resolutions. We want to feel better. What we really want is a better state of being. Resolution to Lose Weight? We want is to look in the mirror and feel good about ourselves, which doesn’t start with a number on the scale. Resolving to spend more time with family? We want more of those great feelings of connection and love. Each one of those resolutions are intentions for more happiness, love or peace in our future.
One of my resolutions, really my only one, is to get refocused on my Life Coaching business for 2011. At a practical level, I’m going to start scheduling myself to have set hours during the day to focus on my business, something I’ve definitely slacked on during my past year of life changing events and major upheavals.
Underneath that resolution is the feeling of passion and love I have for Life Coaching. With that resolution I’m affirming to myself that this is the work I’m here to do right now, and capable of finding ways to get that work done.
When we make our resolutions we are touching a deep part of ourselves that yearns to make our lives better. At the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, we see a vision for better things. We feel the fresh hope that we can better our lives. At that moment, we cherish our desires to make the world a better place. It’s a beautiful thing.

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ANGEL AT A STARBUCKS

PUBLISHED DECEMBER 9TH, 2012

I sat in the coffee shop, tears in my eyes and head in hands.  The plan was to spend a few minutes indulging in a hot, foaming cappuccino, before continuing on my way to the courthouse for what I hoped would be the end of a long divorce battle.
Settling in with my cappuccino I felt myself sinking into the “bad place,” that feeling of anxiety so familiar during the yearlong ordeal that had challenged both my financial and emotional resources. Then, I heard these words…
“Don’t be scared,
Don’t hide your eyes
It may feel so real inside
But don’t forget it’s just a ride…”
The words instantly caught my attention.
Listening further I heard,
“Breakdown… Don’t you breakdown…Listen to me…
It’s just a ride, it’s just a ride
No need to run, no need to hide,
It’ll take you all around
Sometimes you’re up
Sometimes you’re down
It’s just a ride, it’s just a ride
Don’t be scared now
Dry your eyes
It may feel so real inside
But don’t forget enjoy the ride…”
Gods voice? Angels? If so, it’s in the mellow, sultry vocals of a songstress called Jem radiating from the Starbuck’s sound system. By the end of the song, tears are replaced by a smile of gratefulness for this sacred message. These perfectly timed musical messages from the universe aren’t uncommon for me, but this one is the most profound by far. My heart recognizes the truth in the song and in that moment I feel light and free. I knew then I was going to be OK.
Coincidence? I don’t think so.  Call it sychronicity, gods, goddesses or angels, I know the moment I heard Jem’s voice coming over the speakers my energy shifted from crappy to dramatically better.
Funny, even before getting to the coffee shop, I turned on the car radio and heard the song, “You can’t always get what you what want.” Then, in the coffee shop after hearing “Just a Ride,” another musician sings…”All you can do is do what you must, you do what you must do, and you do it well…”
Did I get what I wanted at the courthouse?  Although my bank account says no…not so much, I did get priceless lessons about abundance, forgiveness, and letting go of judgment. Like the song says, I got exactly what I needed, including an agreement that ended the fight. I went home and downloaded Jem’s song “Just a Ride” and used it like mind crack to help get me through what wasn’t one my finest days. I was a mess that day, but listening to the gentle truth in that song kept me from getting stuck in dark thoughts of fear and resistance. The next day, I wrote one word in my journal…Peace. Thinking about it this morning as I turned on the radio, I heard Boston singing this affirmation… “All I want is to have my peace of mind…”

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ARE WE PERFECT? (NICOLAS CAGE!)

PUBLISHED SEPTEMBER 15TH, 2012

You know those ads and commercials that star the perfect woman? You know…she is either drop dead gorgeous with that angry pout, or picture perfect pretty in her model home?

Flipping through a magazine rolling my eyes at the ads, I suddenly realized something. They were living PERFECT lives! They had
perfect manicures, perfect houses with perfect friends and perfect facial expressions.

Of course we know these models aren’t real. But there are millions of dollars, possibly billions, going to research to make sure we are paying attention to these ads. Many women struggle with the vague feeling they just don’t measure up and our media’s portrayal of women isn’t helping this.

Just take a look at the ads. From their expressions to their body language they are saying, “I am confident, self-assured, highly evolved, and PERFECT dammit. And I know it.”

Not only do they tell us how to look, we are given subtle cues telling how to BE; perfectly coiffed, styled, adorned and adored while we are perfectly working, socializing or cleaning our toilets.We are supposed to have our s**t together, dammit! (The women in those ads certainly don’t have problems in THAT area.)

What really gets me are the ads featuring the “domestic” woman. Her house is clean and organized, clothes folded or being folded, neat to the corners. She has a keen sense of odors she won’t allow in her home, perfect decorating sense, vigilant with germs, while keeping her entire family ridiculously well fed, emotionally balanced and harmonious. And…she is ALWAYS smiling. She is saintly patient with the Husband/Child/Dog that is interrupting her blessed perfection, unless of course she is expressing deep concern about odors or germs.

What is wrong with this picture!!!

I’d like to share with you a version of real life, from one of my movie faves, Moonstruck. Picture the scene taking place with two would-be lovers on a chilly New York City street: a young, passionate Nicolas Cage pleading his case to an emotionally torn Cher as she continues to resist his forbidden love:

“We aren’t here to make things perfect! The snowflakes are perfect! The stars are perfect! Not us. Not us! We are here to ruin ourselves and to break our hearts and love the wrong people and die!”

So let’s love our messed up, messy lives and kitchens today. Let’s stop being ashamed, just for the moment, and allow ourselves to love all that’s around us exactly as it is, perfect in all of it’s imperfections.

Now about those @#$% period commercials

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ARE THINGS HARD?

PUBLISHED SEPTEMBER 29TH, 2010

It’s hard. It’s so hard to change. I want to (insert desire here) but it’s too hard. I’ve heard these words countless times. For most of my life, I’ve used the same words to describe my own circumstances.
I was the Stress Queen. It was common to hear me say, “I’m so stressed!” “This is so HARD!” I believed I couldn’t change, it was too hard, or just impossible. I read the books, practiced Reiki, did yoga and meditation, but still developed multiple stress related conditions. I bought into stress measurement tests (which always confirmed my stress was off the scale), and believed it wasn’t my nature to be peaceful and happy.
A few years ago, something changed. Reading a book about the law of attraction, which focuses strongly on positive thoughts, I started playing around with my thinking. I was trying to attract more abundance in my life, but I experienced an astounding, unexpected side effect…I started feeling better! I was able to discontinue medications for anxiety, fibromyalgia, restless leg syndrome, and insomnia.
I found that I was living a better life, with no changes in external circumstances, all because I was thinking different thoughts! At the time I didn’t know it, but brain science backs this up.
What exactly is a thought? A thought is a pathway. If you’ve ever walked a path in the forest, you know it got there by repeated footsteps or critter steps, day after day. With repeated footsteps it stays easy to travel. So what are thoughts? Thoughts are the pathways in the forests of our brains!
Our thoughts make real, scientifically observable paths in our brains. Thoughts are neural pathways; nerve cells that connect electrically and chemically when we think. Keep repeating a thought and the brain kicks in a mechanism that protects that neural pathway, like putting up markers for the path in the forest, so we can easily find it. So how “hard” is it to think a thought? Why it’s like a little footstep, barely taking any energy at all, but continue making those footsteps and you’ve got your pathway.
How do we create new pathways? We start by picking any positive thought that has meaning to us, and consciously think that thought. If we repeatedly think the thought, it becomes a dominant pathway in the brain, easier and easier to find. Our body believes every thought we think, and creating more positive thoughts creates measurable positive changes in our bodies!
Is it hard? I believe when we say something is hard, what we really mean is a situation is painful, confusing or scary. Here is where life coaching comes in as a way to find the thoughts that are creating conflict and stress, dissolve them and replace them with thoughts that create wellness and peace.
Is it hard to think positive thoughts that will change our lives? It’s all about the pathway baby. It’s really not hard in the truest sense of the word. If we are looking for a better way of being, it’s totally possible, if we take one footstep at a time. Just ask the Stress Queen!
Are you ready to create your new pathways?
It’s not hard.