When I was a teenager I wrote everyday. It was art and medicine for me. I even got my first degree in creative writing and was a journalist for the college newspaper. I always adored authors (my mom turned me onto books at age 14). My heroes are authors, some of my friends are authors, when I'm envious of someone...it's usually an author or someone with incredible writing skills. Do you relate to this at all? Are there people doing things in the world that you just swoon over and think, "Wow! I'd love to love to do that, be that, have that."
I've been to four years of therapy, done two weeks of silent meditation in the jungle of Brazil, sat through an intense peyote ceremony on the beach in Nicaragua, engaged in rituals with shamans and sisters, broken my heart open in yoga classes with gurus, chanted ancient mantras with monks, cleansed my aura (and my anus for that matter). I've danced, screamed, stomped, and cried my demons/chains off. And I will say ALL of these are great and have their place in my heart and my current experience of life. However, if bringing your full self to the world is what your soul wants, there has only been one thing that has truly brought me to that place. And that is S T R E T C H I N G myself everyday. I don't mean literally stretching myself (though that certainly has created a lot of release and freedom in my life). I mean stretching myself outside my comfort zone, and doing that consistently.
Most people truly believe that if they just had more money, the things that make them unhappy would disappear and their lives would be better. And though it’s true that money can make life more comfortable, it’s not the answer to these deeper calls for happiness, joy, meaning, and fulfillment. Absolutely, it’s a piece of a grander puzzle and can create a lot more ease and security, but the answer to your questions abouthappiness can only be found in a much deeper well.
One of my favorite quotes is by a true changemaker, Aung San Suu Kyi. She says, “If you are feeling helpless, help someone.” These wise words, spoken by a Burmese woman who spent 15 years under house arrest as a political prisoner after she began speaking out publicly on issues of democracy and human rights.
I open with this story to honor the voices of women everywhere and this week in particular, the voice of mothers.
In honor of women and mothers everywhere, I’d like to introduce you to Charity: Water, a change-making organization that my business proudly supports.
There was a time when I had a very poor relationship with money. My beliefs kept it arms length distance from me and even though I would say I wanted money in my life in a more sustainable and healthy way, it seem to not hear me. ;-)
When I was a child I use to daydream about living a life where I could be myself fully. But as a little one I deeply feared rejection due to some ‘learned’ experiences from society. I was a charismatic and vivacious little girl who also had a neurological disorder, which inherently made me ‘different.’ I remember being ostracized by schoolmates (including my childhood best friend) after ‘I was found out’ due to having seizures in school. No doubt, it imprinted on me some strong beliefs about myself and the world (that I no longer hold).
Did you know that the odds of you being born - You, at the moment in time you were born, to the parents you were born to, with your unique DNA structure, is 1 in 400 trillion! Imagine that! 1: 400,000,000,000,000 - that's A LOT of zeros.
So what does this mean for you?
It means that your very existence is EXTRAORDINARY. You are already enough by the very nature of your presence. So my question to you then is this...
Are you living up to that legacy? Do you feel that your potential in life, love, and leadership is being tapped into? Or you are 'waiting for a better time' - when the kids are grown, when you have more money, when life isn't so busy. when you know more. when you're 'more' ready.
"When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life" - John Lennon
I came across this quote recently and it got me thinking...
It got me thinking about the truth, that at the core of every goal and every desire, what we are all really after - is happiness.
In fact, so often where busy, driven professionals and visionaries lose this connection, is that they focus on what they think will bring them happiness (a means to end goal) rather than the end goal itself.
There is a famous speech, that even if we have never listened to it, we know what it's about.
It's about a dream - a vision. And in expressing that dream fully, it changed the world and left it a better place for all of us.
I often think about the changemakers of our history and what this world might be like if they listened to their doubt, instead of their faith. Or their worry, instead of their wonder. Or their cynicism over their belief. Because, rest assured, they felt the latter. Yet they chose otherwise.
In my life and as a coach, I often wondered what made some people choose the latter. And what I have observed is that as people authentically meet themselves, and from that place, boldly go for their dreams - their dreams grow. They grow because 'who you have to become,' the character you develop in getting to your dreams - changes you. And in that change what you believe is possible for you and the world expands, and therefore your vision expands. It's like a muscle, a capacity thing, but with regards to character.
Follow your dreams today, and tomorrow you will become who you were always meant to be - a changemaker.
I once heard someone say, "Confidence. It's not a pre-requisite for bold action, but it is the RESULT of bold action."
Confidence is something we all want more of - more confidence to land that deal, to take that risk, to follow our dreams, to get on that stage, to write that book, to ask that person out on a date. The paradox here is... you've got to first be willing to go for what you want to develop the confidence you think you need to get it. ha!
I personally find it to be a daily practice to hold onto and act on what I know to be true for me. My desires that come from a deep calling, a yearning from the soul - and to move forward, despite myself. Despite my doubts that maybe I miss heard the call, or maybe I won't add up to the calls expectations, maybe I won't add up to my expectations, maybe I won't be good enough.
So today I am going to share with you 3 powerful lessons I have learned that have shaped me and guided me over the years. They are the 3 things I know for sure about confidence. I hope it helps release some of that nagging doubt that sometimes seems stronger than you (but we both know you're stronger than your doubt). Here's to you and your confidence...
What do you need in place to create an environment that supports your goals, dreams, and evolution? As we enter a new year it's an excellent time to evaluate what was not working the year prior and start fresh. January is a time to move inward, to get clear on what’s true for you now and how you want to show up in the world this year. It’s a time to release limiting and destructive patterns, habits, and beliefs. It’s a time to activate action by creating a plan that is supported by the head (strategy that works), but originates from the heart (your truth, your soul) and inspires you and the world you live in.
As you flow through your month give yourself the space to be still, clear clutter, and honor the process.
Below I have outlined 3 things you can do to make your goals happen this year.
LET'S GET REAL. And to get real, I need to ask real questions. So I won't beat around bush...
What are you willing to give up, in order to have the life you keep saying you want?
Is there something you have been yearning to try or to create but feel too afraid or have rationalized it down to 'not worthy' or 'not now.' Are you stuck in old patterns and beliefs that seem to keep you on a loop of repeated stories that you're getting tired of living out? Do you feel envy towards others, catching yourself getting lost on social media wondering how everyone else seems to be living into their dreams?
Up until last year I thought that doing more, giving more, being more was the path to getting ahead and fulfilling my purpose.
In my business I was more concerned with how much I could do and create and ‘keep up’, rather than getting support and carving out the time to focus down on what I really wanted to be doing, creating, and saying with more confidence and purpose.
I spent way more time thinking up ideas to post on social media or scouring the internet to see what other people were doing and just feeling like I would never ‘catch up’ and never be ‘good enough.’
On our path towards our desires, dreams, and a life fully lived - the goal is presence (not joy) along the journey. Presence will summon life force and truly 'life summoning through you is what it's all about." Sometimes presence will feel ecstatic and joyful and sometimes it will feel brutal and painful. To allow both the beauty and the brutality of humanity to be felt is to be truly deeply intimate with yourself and others and is the only path I have witnessed to living a truly full(filled) life.
There is nothing I want more for myself and for others than for us to bring our full self to the world - the version of you that feels whole, purposeful, inspired, connected, and peaceful
However when life feels 'too' full it can create the complete opposite experiences and emotions we were going for in the first place.
'Too full' feels overwhelming and in that overwhelm causes us to ask questions that truly have no answer, such as "what should I do?" It creates a sense of urgency, rather than an opportunity to grow and gain real insight and direction. And it cuts us off from two of the most important things we need to consciously create a life by design - clarity and creativity.
Now I know it to be true - that you are powerful beyond measure, but have you ever had days when you didn't quite feel that way?
I'm talkin' about those days we don't post on social media (and I'm not talkin' about the aftermath when the lesson is learned and we've got inspiration to share). It's those days that seem out to get you. Those days that feel full of road blocks, doubt, frustrations, and boredom.
Todays lesson is not from me, but rather from the man that turned me onto NLP (Neuro Linguistics Programming), woke me up to the power of my beliefs, behaviors, values, and feelings as a perfect reflection of my experience of life, and inspired me to become a coach.
When I am being swept into what feels like chaos - feeling overwhelmed by daily tasks or certain circumstances unfolding (or not unfolding) the way I would like in my life, there are two things I ask myself.
One, "what is the lesson here?"
Two, "what are my dominant thoughts and feelings?"
Today's focus is going to be on the second question and the power it has to quite literally, transform your life.
As the creator of a practice that is based around creating release (Dynamic Release Method) I am mindful to practice what I preach. Through my personal practice of release, I have learned one very important thing about letting go...
I spend my daily life immersed in personal development. I live it, breath it and teach it. And even with all 'the work/practice' I do and all the support I have (coaches, mentors, books, my partner, my friends, my students, and so on) I still have days and even weeks where I feel just totally down and out.
One thing for sure that I know...
Doing 'the work' and having support doesn't make you perfect. It doesn't make it so you don't make mistakes anymore or wake up one day with all the answers to all your questions.
We all know it in theory...RESISTANCE is futile. Yet, knowing this doesn't change the fact that we still do it. Again and again, we resist. We resist what is, we resist change (the unknown), we resist our deeper knowing, we resist the inner conflict our deeper knowing brings up, we resist the answer when the answer isn't exactly what we want it to be. We even resist resistance.
This isn't the first time I've written about fear and the power of re-framing it to serve you (rather than stop you). In fact, I have a free MP3 you can listen to that digs deeper into this subject and even gives you a tactical tool for uncovering your deepest fears and taking action in spite of them.
For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to be a person of courage. My favorite movie for the longest time was Braveheart (a must see if you haven’t – “freedom!!!!!”) and I have always thought NIKES ad campaign of NO FEAR was brilliant.
There are moments in life when the current of energy seems to sweep you into the rip tide. These are the moments when we need ‘our rocks’ more than any other time. These are the moments when what we have been cultivating in the stillness can bare it’s Fruit. These are the moments I am SO grateful I have my practice…