I like to live my life the way I like my coffee: bold, strong, multi-faceted and somewhat sweet, with a touch of indulgent, creamy goodness. The above quote really caught me because as I look back over the last few years, I see that through some difficult times and struggles, I have found my rhythm, I am living my life with intention, and I have become bolder. I still have goals I want to reach, and aspirations that need attention. I am a work in progress...Read More
Lately I have been hearing about a lot about courage and strength. A friend who is going through a difficult time recently said to me, “I just have to be strong and carry on,” which got me thinking: do we really have to be strong to keep going? I would argue that it does not always require strength to keep going. I am reminded of a woman I worked with a number of years ago who was undergoing treatment for breast cancer. At one point, she was very ill from the chemo drugs, and in a moment of frustration and extreme fatigue, she told her husband she felt like she wouldn’t be able to carry on, to which he replied, ‘You have to; we need you.’ She said she experienced a renewed sense of courage to face this disease head-on and to carry on, even in the absence of strength. She was physically and emotionally depleted, and yet she gathered up her might and continued forward. The last I heard, more than 10 years post-treatment, she has been cancer-free and living a very happy, healthy life.
- Have you ever asked for help when you felt you didn’t have the strength to carry on?
- Have you not asked for help when you didn’t have the strength to carry on?
- What kind of outcome did you experience?
- Did you learn?
- Did you grow?
“Courage isn’t having the strength to go on - it is going on when you don’t have strength.” - Napoleon Bonaparte
Even in the worst of times, we can gather our courage and carry on without strength. I would even argue that one of the most courageous acts we could undertake would be to ask for help when we feel we do not have the strength to face or manage something on our own. We are encouraged to be independent, even fiercely so, and yet, by nature we are interdependent. We need one another at times, and there is much opportunity for growth and learning when we ask for help.
I invite you to consider asking for a helping hand here and there to get comfortable with the idea of receiving. One day, you might truly need someone’s assistance, and you will be primed to accept and receive without resistance. If you are not so sure about this, consider times when you’ve helped a friend or loved one in need. Chances are, you did it willingly and without judgment. Remember the compassion you felt for that person, and offer it to your own self. Be open. Be willing. Ask. Receive.
Give it a try, and remember this question: How can it get any better?
Blessings. Gratitude. Love.
How do you know when you are experiencing growing pains? Young children often experience pain in their legs, the cause of which is difficult to pinpoint. Because growing pains is not actually a medical condition, doctors call it a “diagnosis of exclusion”. Excluding other potential maladies or injuries is the first order of business, and by exclusion, many parents find that their child is experiencing the general muscular discomfort referred to as “growing pains”. Consensus in the medical community is that bone growth does not cause pain. However, many children experience more growing pains during the rapid growth stages, into early adolescence. It is understood is that many children experience these pains after a very physically active day, and often for several days and nights in a row. Most doctors agree that the treatment for growing pains is a warm compress, massage and cuddling - a little TLC, if you will (insert winky smile at clever reference to my initials.)
If we piggy-back on a child’s experience of growing pains and the doctor’s diagnosis of exclusion, we may apply this to our own experience as adults. Have you ever gone through a difficult time, and yet all other variables seem to be in place? I certainly have. There have been times when I’ve felt stressed, afraid and overwhelmed, and yet so much good stuff was happening in my life. By process of elimination (or exclusion), I often find that during these times, I am experiencing growing pains - a general discomfort associated with a sustained high level of activity.
Think about it. We grow and stretch, and stretch a little more, and leap and stretch, and duck and dodge bullets, and deftly maneuver around roadblocks every day. When you experience an unexplained sense of discomfort, or possibly pain, which could manifest in the forms of sadness, anger, frustration or apathy (however fleetingly temporary), it is helpful to run through your personal checklist of needs, unmet needs and possible adverse health conditions if you have any. If you turn up empty handed, give a nod to the idea of growing pains. Perhaps you have been so active that your whole being needs to rest and recuperate.
The doctor’s diagnosis of growing pains, and the parent’s remedy is simple: rest, warm compress, massage and cuddling - a little TLC. We often barge ahead in life, rapidly barreling forward, without taking a moment to address some of our basic needs. We all need TLC, love, a massage and the equivalent of a warm compress. Reach out to those who are close to you. Ask for some extra support in the form of kind words, a listening ear, a hug or thoughts/prayer. At the same time, be kind and compassionate with yourself. Make sure you have attended to your needs. Pushing through the pain is sometimes recommended, and sometimes rest and recuperation are just what the doctor ordered. Know yourself well enough to distinguish what you really need.
If you want to learn more about establishing the mindset for growing thru your growing pains and achieving blissful success, schedule your COMPLIMENTARY 30 minute consult.
I am here by your side on your journey, cheering you on, applying the warm compress, and offering a lot of TLC. Know that you are fully supported in your dreams, and you WILL manifest them!
Blessings. Gratitude. Love.
There is a certain beauty in wildflowers that is a little hard to put into words. I first became fascinated with Cosmos (Mexican Aster) when I was in graduate school in New Mexico. The feathery greens, bright punches of color and ability to thrive even under gross neglect seemed so symbolic, and in many ways speaks to stretches of my life experience.
The Cosmos flowers can stand from one to five feet tall and never require support, despite having a relatively thin stem. Cosmos are pest-resistant, and when fertilized, tend to grow more green than flowers. Even after days without water in triple digit summer heat, the flowers remain beautiful, and the green lush.
You may be wondering how in the world I am drawing a connection from neglect-loving, thin stemmed flowers to living an exquisite life. It is simple, and on this lovely Earth Day, it seems fitting to draw some connections from nature.
- Appearances can be deceiving. People often appear one way on the outside, yet what is inside is very different. I think of Audrey Hepburn as a shining example of a person who appeared very soft on the outside, and yet was possessed with admirable strength and conviction of character (after retiring from acting, she became special ambassador to the United Nations UNICEF fund helping children in developing nations). We also see the opposite: someone who appears very strong on the outside, and yet is suffering on the inside. In both examples, what we see on the outside is quite different from the real inside story.
- You have everything you need, and ample reserves. There are times in life when you may feel depleted, as if you do not have energy or resources to continue. The truth is, however, that we always have everything we need, with plenty of reserves. Think of a time when you did something very physically challenging (for me, running or pushups), and in the moment when you wanted to give up, your body came through for you. You found the extra something you needed to finish, to get where you needed to go, or to feel virtuous about crushing a challenge. Whatever your reasons, my point is simple: often our brains scream at us based on old garbage messages, when in reality we have plenty of energy to keep going.
- There is no need to over-protect ourselves or our loved ones; we thrive and grow from our experiences. Sometimes people over-water and over-fertilize their gardens and end up with mushy, squishy mud. The same is true in life. You do not always need to go get more information before taking-on a challenge. You do not always need to gear-up for what lies ahead in order to protect yourself. Sometimes for ourselves and for our loved ones, we really need to learn to let go and trust. Trust ourselves, trust the process, trust our source.
- Stand tall, no matter how frail you may feel, no matter how strong the wind. Be flexible and allow yourself to bend, but not break. If you break, you know how to repair yourself already, don’t you? Stand firm in who you are, grounded in that calm knowing, and trust in yourself, the process and your source. You’ve got this.
You see, we are like the Cosmos; delicate yet strong, self-sufficient yet interconnected, vulnerable yet protected, flexible yet firmly planted. Know that you’ve got what it takes to accomplish anything you dream and reach an absolutely exquisite sense of fulfillment and unspeakable joy. You are worth it, and the journey is worth it.
Blessings. Gratitude. Love.
"Love is the only flower that grows and blossoms without the aid of the seasons." - Kahlil Gibran
“Most of the time I don’t have much fun. The rest of the time I don’t have any fun at all.” – Woody Allen Ah, good ‘ole Woody Allen, the master of neurotic, self-pitying quotes. I know some people who view life the way this quote reads, so now I feel compelled to write about having fun. A number of people in my circle have expressed frustration at not having time to enjoy themselves, being too ingrained in their routinized lives, and just a general lack of joy. I see it in the faces and body language of people I work with and in those I watch as I take-in my surroundings, and I have to ask: when did we switch from living to surviving?
We are taught to be responsible, contribute to society and “be serious.” I can think of several times when I’ve said those things to my children because they were too busy having fun to listen to me or do their chores. In my moment of over-scheduled, harried mom trying to get it all done, I have overlooked their joy and interpreted their dismissal of my requests as rudeness or disrespect when they were simply enjoying the moment and living their lives. We could all take a page from a child’s life book and lighten up a little.
Obviously, there are times to be serious and times to be playful, but these do not have to live entirely separate existences. If we take a moment to find the joy in living, we can all have a little more fun. It really is simple, and I have broken it down into simple steps.
1. Choose to find the good in things. If you find yourself commiserating with Woody Allen, and many of us have at some point in our lives, then the first step is to shift your perspective and choose to find the good in things. I wrote an affirmation for one of my children, and find myself repeating it to myself in moments of negativity: “I choose to find the good in things and be happy.” If you catch yourself slipping into a negative thought pattern, repeat the affirmation five times. If you have never used positive affirmations, it might seem a little strange at first, but just give it a try; you might be surprised how this small change will shift your thinking.
“Joy is the feeling of grinning inside.” - Melba Colgrove
Notice I did not provide a definition of happiness. There is no outline or format to follow, just a value statement to make for yourself that will help you re-program your thinking to believe that happiness is a choice, and that you deserve it. When you choose to allow yourself to experience what you believe you deserve, you have already begun to change your life and invite more joy.
2. Break the rules. We all have a rebellious streak in us, yet somewhere between adolescence and adulthood, most of us abandoned it for rule-following, proper behavior and keeping up appearances. I would never suggest disrespectful behavior toward others or felonious activity, but why not let yourself be a little naughty once in a while? I think Katharine Hepburn was on to something when she said, “If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.” Give yourself permission to step outside the box to experience things just a little differently. Stay out past your bedtime, eat dessert before dinner, laugh out loud in public, dance on tables…you get the gist.
”I am not in this world to live up to other people’s expectations, nor do I feel that the world must live up to mine.” – Fritz Perls
3. Let go of expectations that hold you back. Those of us who are “recovering type-A” personalities already realize that we place high expectations on ourselves. Our standards are often impossibly high and we rarely live up to them. In addition, we set similarly impossible standards for others, and find ourselves continually disappointed in people. Here is an opportunity to try something radical: let go of the belief that others can make you happy. You are in charge of your happiness. You have the choice to be happy. People’s actions may affect you, but the key to your happiness is in your hands.
4. Allow yourself to experience joy every day. After you have chosen to believe that you deserve to be happy and have abandoned the rules and expectations that hold you back, you have paved the way to truly experience joy. You only need to open your eyes a little, stop to “smell the roses,” so to speak. Think about things that make you smile, and look for them as you go about your day. You will become more aware of your surroundings, begin to experience good feelings and notice other things that bring you joy. If you enjoy social time with friends, make a point of scheduling time with them. If you love music, play your favorite tunes and just listen, or dance around your house.
We all lead busy lives, and with technology and round the clock access, it is so easy to slip into the “grind” mentality and feel continually obligated to spend our time working or adding tasks to the to do list. This is not a healthy, balanced lifestyle. As creatures of habit, our bodies will adjust to whatever routine we impose, so why not create time every day for down-time, time to decompress and have a little fun? Give yourself permission to let something go on the to do list (or better yet, ditch the list; you will always do what is important, right?)
There are opportunities to experience joy every day, if you open your heart to see what is out there. When you make the slightest change in one area of your life, it will spill-over into other areas. Shift your perspective toward finding the good; it will take some re-training to change your thought patterns, but it is well worth the effort. You can alter the course of your life by giving yourself permission to experience fun and joy. I wish you the best, most joyful day and know you are fully capable of changing your life.
Blessings. Gratitude. Love.
“Virtue is bold, and goodness never fearful.” – William Shakespeare I like to live my life the way I like my coffee: bold, strong, multi-faceted and somewhat sweet, with a touch of indulgent, creamy goodness. The above quote really caught me because as I look back over the last few years, I see that through some difficult times and struggles, I have found my rhythm, I am living my life with intention, and I have become bolder. I still have goals I want to reach, and aspirations that need attention. I am a work in progress and have experienced a few blips on the radar screen, but as I observe where I am, I see that I have reached down inside of myself and accessed my strength, even - or maybe especially - in my more fragile moments.
If you really know what you want from life, and you are secure in who you are, you will live your life according to your own principles, and you will get your needs met. Make no mistake, diplomacy is key in most situations, and in no way do I mean to say that you should conduct “in-your-face” confrontations to get what you want from life. The boldness I speak of is derived from internal strength, virtue and goodness that cannot be easily shaken, and possesses a beautiful, warm subtlety.
A friend recently observed that some people’s confidence comes from within and some externalize their confidence to cover up what they are lacking in strength. I understand that one must derive boldness from an internal source in order to go anywhere, let alone to the unknown. In-your-face is abrasive and uncomfortable, and does not represent true strength or courage; in fact, that kind of behavior usually masks insecurities and fear.
I am very fond of quiet strength. I believe that in knowing who we are, solidly grounded in our own foundation, we can be bold. In my youth, I had what I call “fake strength” that presented as cockiness, and a little bit as steam roller. It was a feeble attempt to protect myself from getting hurt, to build a tough exterior and prevent anyone from getting close to me. However, with life experience and maturity, I have learned to be quietly bold, and to let down that barrier and just be myself. To me, boldness sometimes means planting a seed, sometimes I “just do it” in spite of my fears; yet other times, it means standing tall in the face of something that seems threatening or scary.
Have you discovered your bold self? Are you ready to make some progress and move forward? If so, then keep reading. If you want to boldly take yourself where you have never been before, to where you really want to be, try this on for size.
“If you want something you never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.” - Dr. Shaun Marler
1. Listen to Your Inner Voice. It is not always easy to know which way to move or where to place your foot in order to take the next step. It may take some time to figure that out. Take a few minutes to listen to your inner voice, and really listen to what it is telling you.
“Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.” – Dr. Benjamin Spock
Pay attention to your feelings, what your inner voice, or “gut” is telling you. When you listen to your internal voice, the part of you that really knows what you need, you can then allow yourself to expand beyond the farthest reaches of what your life has been so far.
2. Be Open to the Unknown. If you give yourself permission to expand, you will inevitably open yourself to all the possibilities, including the wide-open unknown. Meditate, write in a journal, take a class, or find another way to provide yourself the creative freedom to broaden your horizons. As you open yourself up, you will learn to listen to yourself more closely. When you have begun to really listen and trust yourself, you will step forward without fear, because beneath fear and uncertainty lies the inner knowledge that always tells you which step you need to take next. So, open yourself up, dig a little deeper, brace yourself in your core, and move forward.
3. Take a Step. When you know what you want, and you hear the inner voice say it is time to make a change, you will put one foot forward, take just one step, and you will know you are safe to continue. You will only get to where you want to be, however, if you make it happen. You must be the one to put one foot in front of the other and walk.
We all struggle and have moments when we are lacking in confidence, for a variety of reasons. Whatever the reasons, know you are not alone, and keep on going. Move yourself forward, learn from your mistakes, and trudge ahead. Take the first step toward your bold self, learn to be quietly bold, and get yourself where you need to be.
Believe in yourself, trust your instincts, and keep your intention clear. When you are confident in who you are, your boldness will be natural, and you will take the first step effortlessly. May you be virtuous and good, bold and fearless in your life journey.
Blessings. Gratitude. Love.
Today I really wanted to write something flowery about how you deserve an exquisite life, and I believe that. However, for the last several days, I have been home with a sick kid, got the same virus and now am looking out the window at freezing rain. Frankly, as loving and nurturing as I am, I’m just not feeling it today. So, you get a gritty-for-me, sassified chat. I’ve been seeing a lot of posts on Facebook lately that feel very judgmental and remind us that we’re responsible for our own happiness AND misery, to stop making excuses and that have a strong tone of “you only have yourself to blame,” etc. Here’s the deal: shit happens. Life happens. There are times when it seems things won’t go right, and there are times when life feels heavy. It’s what we choose to do with these times that really matters.
So, life happens. Life sometimes feels heavy. There are times when you won’t be able to make it to the gym, you will miss your meditation or you will eat or drink the “wrong” stuff. If you choose to throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater, then you are choosing that. That is one choice. I will ask you this, and I know I’ve used this analogy before, but it works: if you are wearing a white shirt at a party and a drop of red salsa falls on it, will you pick up the whole bowl of salsa and pour it down your shirt? If you do, bravo/a for making a Powerful Choice! And if not, that is also a Powerful Choice (wink, wink).
You see, whatever you choose, even if you choose to walk in circles and not make a decision, you are making a choice. It is simple. When life throws some crap at the fan and it’s blowing all over, you get to choose: let it hit you, turn and run, grab an umbrella and cover up, or walk around the friggin’ fan and pull the plug. YOU are in command of your life. YOU get to choose how things will go down once they happen, and frankly, THAT is what really counts.
Here are 3 simple steps to deal with Life Happening:
- Breathe. When life happens, stop what you are doing and take a deep breath. Breathe in thru your nose, hold it for a second, and then breathe out thru your nose. Focus on your breath. When you breathe like this (in yoga: ujjayi pranayama) you do a number positive things for yourself, including bringing yourself into the present moment, lowering your blood pressure, slowing down your heart rate, releasing tension and keeping yourself from any knee-jerk reaction that may be associated with old programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.
- Allow feelings. We often make the mistake of rushing to feel better in the moment of Life Happening. Sometimes we need to switch gears to un-do old programming, but often what we are really doing is stuffing-down our feelings and burying them. To quote a powerful book: feelings buried alive never die. Whatever we stuff down will ultimately back up on us. If we understand that we feel first, then think, then emote, it is easier for us to learn to breathe and rest-in to our feelings and allow whatever we feel to actually be felt. From there, we can heal. Also, remember that feeling feelings and expressing emotions are very different. In the moment you feel something, you get to choose what to do with it.
- Make a choice. After you take a deep breath (or 3, or 10) and have allowed yourself to feel what you feel, you get to make a choice. Choosing is a form of taking action. You may simply choose to change your attitude, and that is action. You may choose to change something - make an apology, forgive yourself or someone else, or rearrange your closet. Whatever you do, make a solid choice, and the universe/god/your source/your higher conscience will conspire to meet you where you are in that choice.
“I discovered I always have choices and sometimes it’s only a choice of attitude.” - Unknown
Whatever you choose, you will do it in a powerful way, and it will be the right thing, even if the outcome is not what you expected or thought you wanted. You see, life happens. Life brings us exactly what we need, when we need it, and we get to choose to experience it as a learning opportunity or as a heavy burden that makes us miserable.
I know you will choose wisely and you will choose whatever you need most, even if you are not fully aware of why you are making the choice.
Blessings. Gratitude. Love.
P.S. It’s still January, and I’m still offering FREE GOODIES. Have you asked me for a freebie? If not, why not? Contact me, and make sure you leave your name & email in the box at the TOP RIGHT of this page so you get your first batch of free stuff. Make sure you ASK ME for more free stuff!
When you "beat the odds" do you embrace it, or do you analyze, question and doubt? Do you find yourself saying, "Yeah, but..." - what I call the 'Dreaded Yabbit Dyndrome' (DYS for short). I found myself battling my own DYS the other day, related to the numbers game. When I remembered that kind of thinking doesn't represent the paradigm I live in, nor does it serve me, I was able to exhale it out and express gratitude for the number of people I am able to serve, for those who are making their way to me now, and for those whose lives have been changed by something I have said or done, or by someone I have helped sharing something they have learned. You get the point, right?
The esteemed Dr. Deepak Chopra tells us that every time we think a positive thought or make a positive change in our lives, that resonates out and can create a positive change in the lives of 30,000 others. So... If I help one person, even if I help only myself, I am also helping my 2 children (now we're at 90,000, for those who need to see the numbers).
No more Yabbit... No more doubt. No more worry. Only thanking the universe/god/your highest self/source for the incredible opportunity you have every moment of every day to make a difference. Go, love yourself, believe in yourself, GIVE of yourself. Because every time you do, you are changing lives. Yes, you are! ~ TLC
Blessings. Gratitude. Love.
So, many people are writing their reflections on 2012 as the year comes to a close. While I’m not one to jump on the bandwagon, I have to say that I feel the need to do the same and share some of my learning experiences as well. First, 2012 has been an incredible year for me personally and professionally. I have experienced a number of ups and downs in both areas, have grown tremendously, and feel wiser, stronger and better-equipped for this next year, which is already looking like it will be AMAZING!
While not one to make Resolutions, I am working very intentionally toward some lofty goals that, frankly, scare the hell out of me. Yes... I feel scared. Yes... I feel worried I might fail, and yes, I know I’m not ‘supposed’ to worry and fear failure and all of that. But, I am also afraid of the huge success that is right there at my fingertips; just a smidge. There, I’ve self-disclosed. Now, can we get on with it?
Here’s what I’ve learned in 2012, in completely random order, and yet probably the perfect sequence:
Dating is not for the faint of heart. I’ve heard dating referred to as “feast or famine.” I feel VERY strongly that gorging/starving is really bad for our metabolism. So, I have chosen to just be myself and not play by the rules. That’s my personal wisdom, combined with that of other friends and clients who have experienced this ‘dating thing’. Be yourself in all areas, even if you're in committed partnership or not dating. Enjoy, don’t take yourself too seriously. Go, have fun, study the reflection you see in each person who you attract. Stay detached from any outcome, and remember that each person who comes into your life is there at the right time, for the right reason. There are no mistakes, only opportunities to learn and grow.
Solitude is WAY underrated. While we are social creatures by nature, there are quiet, alone times to be enjoyed, appreciated and savored. Recharge your batteries, do something loving for yourself - read a book, take a long bath, go for a walk, watch a movie or do nothing. Schedule daily solitude, even if 'just' for 10 minutes to begin or end your day. Savor your time to yourself and focus on YOU.
There is room for everyone. There is enough. YOU are enough. Learn to live a life without limits. There is only one thing in life that is obligatory: death. Everything else is a choice. Perhaps that’s a little black and white and even over-simplified, but give it a little time to marinate. You get to choose how you respond to whatever comes your way. There is plenty - love, resources, financial abundance, opportunities, air to breathe. There is always enough, and there is room for everyone. Go, stake your claim, and remember that there are no limits to what you can imagine and manifest.
Have fun every day. Make something up. Laugh at yourself. Make a game out of something totally boring or tedious. Life is too short for bullsh...oh, that’s the next bit of wisdom. Life is meant for living, so GO LIVE IT!
Life is too short for bullshit, so stop making it and stop taking it. ‘Nuf said.
Stop making RESOLUTIONS! Choose right now to set the intention you desire for yourself for the next year, for the next five, for your whole life. Write your own Vision of Success (or talk to me about it and I’ll help you) and rather than plan every little detail based on something that feels like an obligation, choose how to re-write or update your story, and make it happen. When you know what you want and WHY you want it, ‘making it happen’ will feel effortless.
I wish you the best as you enter the newest chapter of your life, this new year. I invite you to take advantage of some free offers to get the new year started. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, enter your information in the form at the top right corner and you’ll gain access to EXCLUSIVE FREEBIES.*
Happy New Year!!! Best of success to you in 2013 and always!
Blessings. Gratitude. Love.
*(plus a free gift just for joining my list - I never share or sell information; this is for inside scoop only)