When It’s Time, You Know.
The word “decide” means, in its barest essence, “to kill.”
Think about it: Matricide. Genocide. Suicide. Homocide.
In order to choose the powerful decisions that will propel our lives, something else has to die.
I’ve made a huge decision, and I want to tell you about it.
But first, a quick back story.
I have spent many years of my career avoiding that thing they call “niche.” Ugh. There was so much that interested and intrigued me! I didn’t want to feel boxed in. I wanted the freedom to create and offer whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. And so I did.
I’ve coached and developed programs and facilitated workshops on pretty much all the topics, as they relate to me, to women. If I’m interested or inspired, I create a program. I write a blog. I teach a class.
If it was something I was into, I’d package it and offer it.
This “farm to table” approach to my business has definitely satisfied my craving for variety and freshness, but the plain fact of the matter is this…
I have watered down my own message.
I have watered down my life.
In my efforts to be all things to all women, I have diluted my very essence.
I finally realize, the more I water myself down, the less effective I am, in all areas. It’s time to shift.
What I’m about to share with you is vulnerable, and raw in the way that only deep truth can be. I feel a slight trembling in my stomach while I type. But I want you to know exactly what is going on. I feel like I owe that to you. We owe each other truth.
“The world owes us nothing. We owe each other the world.” – Ani DiFranco
2016 has offered me profound change in my inner world, and in the way I relate to my outer world.
Its also offered me deep, incredible healing opportunities.
And its offered me the chance to actually internalize the offerings I have spent years offering others, specifically around the topic of body image and self-esteem.
Wow, imagine that, huh? Wait, what?
The plain truth was that by diluting myself, I got away from my message, in my own life.
Even though a large part of what I have been doing has been focused on “selling positive body image for a living”, my own body image had become terrible.
See, the path to full-bodied love and acceptance doesn’t end when you get up and strip for a theater full of people. In fact, that’s only the beginning of the work, if you dare continue.
Positive body image was for everybody else, but not for me. Sure, I felt good sometimes, with the right lighting or outfit, but feeling bad about myself and my body was becoming more and more pervasive.
I was withholding from myself the very freedom I celebrated and inspired in others. Yeah, pretty effed up, right? Shameful, even. After all, I wasn’t “supposed” to have these kinds of issues! So I buried them deeply. And they festered.
Over the years, my inner world got dark. My self-esteem continued to sink. The inner chatter became nearly constant and very cruel.
But I discovered a fun and convenient way to shut down those mean voices, right under my nose.
Having been a social drinker/weekend party girl all of my adult life, I noticed, without noticing, something cool happened when I was lit.
When under the influence, there were no insecurities, no cruel chatter, for a few hours every couple days, and more hours on the weekends, there was relief. I felt free. But that wasn’t freedom.
I now know, it was the opposite of freedom.
I wasn’t drinking to escape my life. My life was great, after all!
I was drinking to escape myself.
As my drinking began to escalate over the following year or so, so did the repercussions. Lots of hangovers, lots of shame. Lots of pain.
At the end of 2015, I decided to quit alcohol. And can you guess what happened? Yep. Those insecurities I had worked so hard to stifle were right there, waiting for me.
But now, I would finally deal with them, bravely.
Now, I was really ready to tackle this, to heal these patterns and wounds, for me.
This wouldn’t just be something I offered my clients. I would actually turn inward and offer this healing work to my most important client. Me.
And I can say, with humility, pride and deep gratitude, I know what real freedom is now. I’m living it.
It’s a winding path, bumpy at times, but I am 100% committed to staying on it.
Sometimes we have to test ourselves, our commitments. I dabbled this summer with being a “social drinker” again, after several months of abstinence. Yeah, the Great Moderation Experiment.
I decided relatively quickly that I needed to be sober— even better, I would rather be sober. I recommitted to this path. This path is current, it is now. So hot off the press, it’s not even off the press yet.
I am on it, I am in it, working fervently, facing myself in brave ways, examining my beliefs, patterns, triggers and self-talk like never before.
And simultaneously, my work in the world is preparing itself to become the most honest, brilliant and accurate reflection of the work happening within me.
There’s a new incarnation of my business gestating within me.
But first, more healing.
First, more purging, more clearing, more letting go.
First, some deciding. And decide means “to kill.”
As this new chapter of Lisa Carmen, LLC continues to gestate, I prepare, the way a mother does while she waits for the birth of her baby.
Uncertain of exactly what to expect, she is excited, nonetheless. She prepares the nursery. She clears clutter from the home. She nests. She nurtures herself.
And when it’s time to give birth, she knows.
I’m not there yet, but I promise, you will know when I am.
I know this will be the most personal work I have ever offered. I know it will be amazing.
To clear space for this new chapter, I’ve decided to let go of many of the programs and offerings I’ve spent much energy creating and offering.
You’re going to notice some events being canceled. You may notice my offerings lightening on the website and in my weekly Quickies.
I am pulling in my energies. I will no longer water myself down.
Be patient. Be kind. Be excited. Something great is coming.
Here’s what will continue:
Pretty much everything else will be cleared away, to create a welcoming space for what’s to come.
This feels terrifying and exciting to share. (Many of you know, I have a word for that- TERRICITED!)
It also feels entirely, completely right.
I trust this stirring. I trust this healing. I trust this journey.
I look forward to our next adventure.
I hope you do, too.
photo by Dee Hill, HAMU by Vivienne Vermuth
“The greatest risk is to risk nothing at all.”
– Leo Buscaglia
I see it all the time. I get it, because I’ve been there. Standing face to face with a fork in the road, at the precipice of a choice, a big decision, a leap, an opportunity, a burning dream that is no longer satisfied with being ignored, people will get stuck in a state of confusion.
I just don’t know.
Should I stay or should I go?
Should I take the job?
Should I take the trip?
Should I say yes? Should I say no?
What should I do?
I want to share with you what I have come to believe about clarity and confusion, and the dramatic gulf of difference between them. When you compare the two, it’s really no wonder at all that we so often choose to stay in the blurry, convoluted, diminishing, paralyzing and often soul-sucking land of confusion.
Think about it…
Confusion asks nothing of us. Clarity requires action.
Confusion risks nothing. Clarity is frightening, because once clear, we must risk.
Confusion is cozy and familiar. Clarity asks us to move into the unknown.
Confusion is simple. How can I act if I don’t really know? Clarity feels complicated. There is a plan required.
Clarity asks for our decisiveness. And decisiveness is so… decisive.
So yes, I get it when you tell me you’re confused. And then I might ask, when you experience those moments of clarity, however fleeting they may be, before confusion returns, what does clarity say?
And it usually turns out that deep inside, under the confusion, there’s our clarity. Waiting for us. Signaling to us. And eventually demanding from us that we acknowledge it. Even if we are unready to act, clarity would love to know we see it.
Then, I might ask you to respond differently to clarity, the next time it pokes its head, that instead of quickly deferring back to confusion, you stay with that clarity, just a little bit longer. Engage it for a moment more.
Before you scurry back to the safety of confusion, let yourself be in the clarity for just a little bit longer. What would it mean, to be clear?
But it’s complicated, you might be thinking. No. It’s not really. The steps and actions and path we take once clear might be. But clarity itself is as simple as can be, crystal clear like spring water. Alive and pulsing like a bubbling brook. And it will carry you.
Once we are clear, that’s when we begin to know what we must do. That’s when life asks us to risk more, play bigger, get out of the shadows, live our truth, drop the bullshit, solidify our yes, or our no, and make it a reality.
And that’s terrifying.
But here are some things that are even more terrifying. Living a life you have outgrown. Missing out on the fullness of your unlived dreams. Arriving at the end of your life wishing things would have been different.
And the harsh truth is, today, you are one day closer to your dying day. And while clarity is patient, most of the time, it’s very polite, and will not force its hand. It’s waiting for you.
So yes, I get it when you tell me you don’t know what to do. And I challenge you to come clean about the other truth, that deep within, you DO know what to do.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that you will immediately be equipped to make your next move. There may be a dozen reasons why an immediate move into your yes, or your no, isn’t possible. Many of them are paper thin, and just by stepping through them will you move toward the life you crave. Many of them are excuses. Many of them are painfully difficult. But trust me when I say this, when you step into your clarity, She Who Knows, that part of you that is clear will also provide you with the strength and direction and ability to move forward.
Will it be easy? Not always.
Will it be painful? Quite possibly.
Will you be afraid? Most likely.
But will it be right? Of course.
Because She Who Knows, that part of you, deep within, where clarity lives… she knows. And she is waiting for you to let her lead the way.
You don’t have to have it all figured out. You don’t even have to make any sudden moves. But owning your clarity will give you access to a power and a strength that comes from the same source your clarity lives. This I am very clear on.
So what is it you’re confused about? And are you really confused? Or just avoiding clarity?
The first step, and the only step you need to concern yourself with, for now, is getting clear. Clarity is power in itself. And it’s waiting, patiently for you to embrace it.
I can help you get clear. Schedule a complimentary coaching session with me and let’s cut through the confusion together.