confidence

Self-Love and Insecurities: This is Where I Am.

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Show me the most beautiful, powerful, successful, actualized, amazing woman in the world, and I’ll show you a woman who sometimes struggles with insecurities.

We all face the darker side of our own feelings about ourselves from time to time, no matter who we are or how hard we have worked on ourselves, how spiritual or “enlightened” we are, how much we have healed, how far we have come… it happens.

And though some of us are better at hiding it from the world than others, none of us are exempt.

Sometimes I struggle to love myself completely.

There. I said it.

Sometimes my inner mean girls, inner gremlins, inner demons, whatever you want to call the voices, those voices, whisper and chant the meanest things to me.

Does my sharing this with you make you think less of me as a woman, a coach, a teacher?

Did you think I had it all together, and that “all together” included never thinking one negative, mean thought about myself, never critiquing myself, never “ugh-ing” myself in the mirror, never ever calling myself a name?

I’m sorry to disappoint you, if that is the case.

Because I stand for radical self-love doesn’t mean I’ve perfected it. Because I believe in self-acceptance doesn’t mean this comes completely effortlessly for me. It’s my journey. I’m still in it.

If you’ve attended any of my workshops over the years, you know that one of the first things I share, after I point to the bathrooms and ask you to turn off your cell phone is that I am not immune or completely healed of the negative self-talk and self-loathing judgment that plagues women of our western society.

My journey has been arduous and painstakingly bumpy, and very real, and never-ending and yes, I’m still in it. I’m still journeying. But, I say.

But. But on this journey, as I tired of the pain, I have learned many amazing and powerful tools and practices for quieting the critical voices, for cultivating self-love, for remembering who I am, for practicing self-kindess and compassion, for healing the relationship between my body and my mind, and when I practice them, my relationship to myself shifts, it heals.

They work if I work them.

And so of course, I am obligated to share them. We learn, we teach. Some of us are wired this way. Whether we like it or not.

Why am I telling you this?

Perhaps to come clean.

Perhaps because recently, when I told her that I was having a bad day and struggling with self-esteem issues, still another friend looked at me incredulously, jaw dropped, surprised… maybe even disappointed… “You?”  Yes, me.

But my commitment to expand my capacity for self-love and self-acceptance has been recharged. My relationships depend on it. My business depends on it. My life depends on it.

These days, on a bad day, I can remember to turn to myself with compassion, and sometimes I even remember to practice the tools that I teach.

I am not immune to insecurities. But I am not going to lay down and surrender to them, either.

I am devoted to mastering profound self-love and acceptance, and if it takes me the rest of my life to master, so be it.

Perhaps that’s the whole point of living.

I’m in. I’m registered. I’m signed up. I’m enrolled.

I’m no longer enrolled in “Self-Love 101”, but I haven’t earned my Doctorate in Loving Oneself Completely yet, either.

I am a work in progress. I hope you’re okay with that.

 

 

The Truth About Your Relentless Inner Critic

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“The day of unfailing, gorgeous confidence isn’t coming.
Self-doubt will always be a part of what we each work with as we take steps to play bigger.”

– Tara Mohr

Sorry to share this dismal news, but guess what? It really isn’t that dismal, I promise. Keep reading!

Almost every client that hires me expresses her desire to possess more confidence. In fact, I do not know a single person without some degree of insecurity and self-doubt, at least some of the time. And the ones that claim otherwise are faking it, I am certain.

Unfortunately, I think some of us imagine a day in the future when we will move through the world with a complete lack of self-doubt, 100% self-assured and self-confident at all times, and remember with a sweet nostalgia, those days gone-by when we used to feel insecure or unsure of ourselves. “But not anymore.”

As Tara tells us above, that day is not coming. There is some good news though, before we take to crying in our coffee and giving up the fight for a confident life of boldness and courage.

Tara goes on to say, in her profound and stirring book, “Playing Big: Find Your Voice, Your Mission, Your Message”

“The name of the game is not eliminating self-doubt. The name of the game is learning how to let the inner critic do its thing, without taking direction from it. The goal is to hear the inner critic’s voice but not let that voice determine your choices.”

See, I cannot and do not promise anyone I coach the erasure or elimination of self-criticism or doubt. But what I do know how you can transform your relationship to it. I’ve done it. But let me clarify, it’s not something that gets “done” and “Bam! All finished! Glad that self-criticizing phase of my life is over!” I wish.

Living a life untethered and undetermined by my self-criticism is an everyday practice. And when I slack, trust me, insecurities and self-doubt flare up like a pain cycle.

And one more zinger I’ll share from Playing Big… “You don’t have to win the argument with your inner critic; you have to step away from the conversation.”

Step away from the conversation.

When we begin to shift our lives from playing small to playing a bigger game, we can bank on and anticipate our inner critic to jump into position, like a sleeping guard that monitors the borders of our comfort zones. Because the Inner Critic is an expression of the safety instinct we each possess. It’s just doing its job. It feels threatened when you leave the safety of your comfort zone.

Our Inner Critic thinks that by relentlessly belittling us, frightening us, reminding us of our supposed flaws and shortcomings that we will stay nice and safe. Fortunately, we can begin to see this ploy for what it is- safety measures.

We can begin to observe the craftiness of our Inner Critic and separate its voice from our truth. We are not the voice.

We can begin to employ tools and techniques that will quiet the voice. Not with violence or anger, but with love and compassion. For real!

So let’s start there, with the noticing. When it turns up its volume, we can even begin to greet our Inner Critic with a certain sense of gratitude, for it surely must mean we are treading outside of the boundaries of our comfort zones, crossing the border from ideas to reality, and we then we can say “Thank you for doing your job. But I got this.” as we boldly move right through it, blowing it a kiss on the way.

 

 

___________________

Originally published September 2015

 

What These Women Have Taught Me

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I promise, you can do this!

I am more in love with my work than I have ever been. One of the most beautiful parts of my work and my life is The Burlesque Experience. Running now for five and a half years and 22 seasons, around 230 women have come through this program, and  I gotta tell ya, it doesn’t get old. In fact, tomorrow, another group is finishing their program, the end of the line. Tonight, the last sleep tonight before Bust-Out.

And I have fallen in love with each of them.

Could I love this work any more than I do right now? I doubt it.

It starts with a strut.
It starts with a strut.

Like any marriage, my relationship to the Burlesque Experience has been challenging at times. At one point I even wanted to leave it (some of you may remember, Last Year’s Burn-Out…) But I realized that what I really needed was rest. I know now that I must do my best to keep my tank filled, keep my head on straight, focused, adulting, dedicated. I know that if I stay awake, stay present and in service to the group, it’s a sheer delight.

I’ve learned (the hard way) that impeccable self-care is the key to being good at what I do. It’s not just a novelty or ‘good-to-do’ kind of thing. It is paramount. And when I show up fully, I get the most out of it. I get to spend an exciting six weeks with a group of brave women who transform, bond, blossom and bloom in seriously palpable, sustaining and powerful ways.

I have the best job in the world. And I don’t just teach them. They teach me, too.

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Am I really doing this?

Here’s what these women have taught me lately…

  • We are so much more than we think we are. Every semester, week one, women come to that first intro circle, uncertain, curious, wanting more. They also come with their stories about who they are or who they are not, and sometimes even who they think they can never be. And then, I watch, as they shed those stories and prove to themselves they are so much more than they ever thought.
  • We need each other. Each semester, I watch a bunch of strangers sheepishly approach one another, wondering who will they like. Will they be liked? Do they fit in? By the time they reach their Bust-Out, they are soul sisters, they are intimately connected and they trust each other. They hold each other up, they wipe each other’s tears. They show up for one another in such inspiring ways. No one does this alone. In life, and in the Burlesque Experience.
  • We can be afraid and do it anyway. People who wait for the courage to arrive, before they say yes to their Burlesque Experience may be waiting forever. The courage comes while you are doing it. And afterward, you are more courageous than you were before you did it. That’s how courage works.Tomorrow, the Spring/Summer 2016 class busts out. Are they excited? Hell yeah. Are they terrified? Of course. Will they do it anyway? I have no doubt. Fear is part of the package. We don’t get to skip it. But we can move through it. When we start to realize we can do brave things AND be afraid at the same time, the world opens up for us. We become unstoppable.
  • We can do anything we set our minds to, even if a part of us thinks we cannot. Around week three, this group, and the ones before it, realize what’s ahead, and it feels insurmountable. Freak outs begin. Meltdowns are common. Fear works overtime. Overwhelm kicks in. I plead with them to stay with me, it’s possible, we can do this. And most of the time, they stay. But it’s not my pleading that convinces them. It is they, themselves. They work their tails off, they practice, they create, they stay connected to each other and dedicated to the process and to themselves, and then, they reach the end, and lo and behold, they do it, and hot damn, they do it well.
  • We all want to be seen. We all are meant to shine. I’ve worked with every type of woman you can imagine. Shy women, open women, closed women, wounded women, loud women, quiet women, younger women, older women, sweet women, sour women, and we all share so many things in common. One of them being this deep desire to be seen. To stand in a spotlight, to bravely say, “Hey world, here I am! Notice me!” This requires great bravery. And they have it. And every woman is capable of shining brightly. It’s not just reserved for a certain few. We all have it in us. In class, I call it our inner showgirl. We could also call it our essence, our spirit, our bright shining soul. We are meant to shine. Marianne Williamson said it best…

“We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine… It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

It’s almost showtime.

I hope you will be there with me. It’s so much more than a “show.”

Hold space with me as we watch these women shine, as they are liberated from their fears, and in doing so, liberate others.

Cheer with me as they boldly step onto that stage and into the powerful glow of their very own light.

I am in awe of these women. I couldn’t be more proud of them. I couldn’t feel more blessed.

I think they're ready.

They’re ready. Let’s do this.     

Photos by Sunset Hoots Monroe & Dee Hill.

Are You a Hot Mess? The New Archetype in Town and Why She’s Dangerous

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hot mess – noun – informal: a person or thing that is spectacularly unsuccessful or disordered. (Google dictionary)

Jenna is a client of mine who seems to travel with a tornado whirling around her. There are usually papers flying around her, she’s chronically late and she has a tendency to forget important dates, even when they’re in her calendar that is synced to every device she owns. She’s brilliant, beautiful and like most of us, has unlimited potential. She has dreams she has yet to take the slightest step toward. “I’m such a hot mess!” She laughs, exasperating herself, and those around her.

Sandra, a longtime friend of mine dreams of being a published author, has enough insight in her to fill a shelf of books, talks about writing all the time, but does not write. She’s even signed up for writing courses and events and has canceled at the last minute. “I’m just a hot mess.” She’ll shake her head.

You’ve heard of the Queen archetype, and the Femme Fatale archetype, and the Priestess archetype.

There’s a new archetype in town, and it’s helping us women stay small, across the world. It’s the Hot Mess archetype. And it can be very dangerous.

When I first heard this phrase a few years ago, I liked its sunny, somewhat sexy charm. Yes! I can be my messy self and it’s cute, even affable, I thought.

I’ve noticed it making its way into our day-to-day lexicon, and primarily, when its used, it’s a woman describing herself.

“I’m such a hot mess.”

Do I think that all use and identification with this phrase is harmful? No.

Do I think that words are powerful and we should choose them carefully, especially when describing ourselves? Most definitely.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this phrase and the women who use it, and here’s what my theory is. There are primarily two reasons women use Hot Mess to describe themselves…

  1. To stay small.
  2. To play small.

Think about it. If I am continuously shaking my head at myself, and enlisting others to join me, I never have to rise and shine. I never have to fully claim my power, my potential for greatness. It’s like written permission to stay stuck in a smaller gig, when really I am meant for bigger, better things. Being a Hot Mess, if you think about it, is actually pretty “safe.” No one expects much from the Hot Mess. And she doesn’t have to expect much from herself.

I also hear women using this phrase who are successful, shining, empowered, self-actualized women. These women are creating businesses, running corporations, raising families, making art, doing life, juggling a dozen balls at once, they’re doing it.

Yet, when they get the opportunity to refer to themselves as a hot mess (for example, forgetting an appointment, making a mistake, spilling their coffee) they jump on it.

And it’s my belief that they do this to shrink themselves a little bit, lest the world think they have it all together. To diminish their own glorious light, to shine a little less brightly, lest the world think they are better than them.

What they might be really saying is… “See, I’m human, just like you…” “How can you hate me when I’m a hot mess?”  “I promise not to outshine you, because I’m a hot mess.” “Don’t be jealous of me. I’m a hot mess too, just like you!”

We ALL have the Hot Mess archetype in us. If Carl Jung was alive today, he might call the Hot Mess archetype part Saboteur, part Victim part Fool.

This potential, these fallible, flawed, chaotic tendencies are in ALL of us. So since it’s universal, do we have to keep pointing it out?  We’re all human.

The danger of identifying as a Hot Mess is you being a smaller you. And you are here to play big, to shine brightly.

Yes, we are human, we screw up, we forget things, we all play small sometimes. No one is immune from the Hot Mess tendency.

But be careful how you label yourself, even if doing so tongue-in-cheek or lightheartedly, or you might find yourself stuck in a box of your own design, the Hot Mess Box. And that box, sister, is a trap.

How you refer to yourself matters. The words you use matter.

Next time you find yourself using the term to identify yourself, check in. Ask “How am I staying small or playing small in this moment?” And more importantly, “Why?”

Chances are, with one brave step at a time, you can move out of the Hot Mess box, into a greater, bigger, braver and more badass version of yourself. Ditching the Hot Mess archetype means stepping up, shining brighter, “adulting”, evolving into more magnificence. And it’s yours, if you’re ready.

The Inescapable Truth about Confidence, Self-Doubt & that Miserable Inner Critic of Yours

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“The day of unfailing, gorgeous confidence isn’t coming.
Self-doubt will always be a part of what we each work with as we take steps to play bigger.”
– Tara Mohr

Sorry to share this dismal news, but guess what? It really isn’t that dismal, I promise. Keep reading!

Almost every client that hires me expresses her desire to possess more confidence. In fact, I do not know a single person without some degree of insecurity and self-doubt, at least some of the time. And the ones that claim otherwise are faking it, I am certain.

Unfortunately, I think some of us imagine a day in the future when we will move through the world with a complete lack of self-doubt, 100% self-assured and self-confident at all times, and remember with a sweet nostalgia, those days gone-by when we used to feel insecure or unsure of ourselves. “But not anymore.”

As Tara tells us above, that day is not coming. There is some good news though, before we take to crying in our coffee and giving up the fight for a confident life of boldness and courage.

Tara goes on to say, in her profound and stirring book, “Playing Big: Find Your Voice, Your Mission, Your Message”

“The name of the game is not eliminating self-doubt. The name of the game is learning how to let the inner critic do its thing, without taking direction from it. The goal is to hear the inner critic’s voice but not let that voice determine your choices.”

See, I cannot and do not promise anyone I coach the erasure or elimination of self-criticism or doubt. But what I do know how you can transform your relationship to it. I’ve done it. But let me clarify, it’s not something that gets “done” and “Bam! All finished! Glad that self-criticizing phase of my life is over!” I wish.

Living a life untethered and undetermined by my self-criticism is an everyday practice. And when I slack, trust me, insecurities and self-doubt flare up like a pain cycle.

And one more zinger I’ll share from Playing Big… “You don’t have to win the argument with your inner critic; you have to step away from the conversation.”

Step away from the conversation.

When we begin to shift our lives from playing small to playing a bigger game, we can bank on and anticipate our inner critic to jump into position, like a sleeping guard that monitors the borders of our comfort zones. Because the Inner Critic is an expression of the safety instinct we each possess. It’s just doing its job. It feels threatened when you leave the safety of your comfort zone.

Our Inner Critic thinks that by relentlessly belittling us, frightening us, reminding us of our supposed flaws and shortcomings that we will stay nice and safe. Fortunately, we can begin to see this ploy for what it is- safety measures.

We can begin to observe the craftiness of our Inner Critic and separate its voice from our truth. We are not the voice.

We can begin to employ tools and techniques that will quiet the voice. Not with violence or anger, but with love and compassion. For real!

So let’s start there, with the noticing. When it turns up its volume, we can even begin to greet our Inner Critic with a certain sense of gratitude, for it surely must mean we are treading outside of the boundaries of our comfort zones, crossing the border from ideas to reality, and we then we can say “Thank you for doing your job. But I got this.” as we boldly move right through it, blowing it a kiss on the way.

 

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Wanna transform your relationship to your Inner Critic? Join me live for “Tame Your Inner Critic” October Power Circle 10/22 and let’s do it!

 

 

 

What’s Stifling Your Sexy and Snuffing Your Fire?

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It seems to sneak up on us, the funk.

We’re not looking for it.

We didn’t ask for it. But there it is.

The funk is what I consider to be a soup of mixed feelings of the not-so-fun fare, simmered and steeped to dull perfection. It feels something like some combination of these flavors: Uninspired, frumpy, unexpressive, bored, boring, blah, ho hum, meh, stuck in a rut, cranky, edgy, lethargic, lackadaisical, grumpy, gloomy, cloudy, dim, dull.

This is what we feel when we are disconnected from our true essence, which is joyous radiance.  And these feelings are always informative, unsavory as they might be. They are clues to our truth. They invite us to explore and identify their messages, so that we deal with their sources, return to our true essence, and access our own magnificence and greatness, to be, well, magnificent and great…

When we are in our joyful radiance, we feel alive, present, charmed, radiant, powerful, sexy. And it’s a powerful force. A woman who is joyfully radiant is sexy. Can you think of anything sexier?

I often hear women in the funk use phrases like “I lost a part of me…” or “I don’t know where she went.”  I’m here to tell you that you have lost nothing. Nothing is gone.

In fact, there is a depth of radiance and power within you that you quite possibly haven’t even tapped into yet. It’s in there, waiting for you. Waiting to light up your life. Your true essence, of joyous radiance is IN YOU, even when you’re in a funk. It is not about accessing anything external. It’s about drawing forth what is already in you.

Doesn’t that feel good? To know you have everything you want and need already in you? Would you like to have more of that radiance, to feel it? What’s in the way?

I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately to what I think gets in the way of our true essence.  I’ve boiled it down to seven primary blocks. These blocks, these sexiness-stiflers, these radiance-snuffers, get in the way of our radiant life force, they disconnect us from our joyous radiance, and I’m going to be addressing these seven things over the next few weeks, as well as offering tools for diminishing their hold and rinsing them away. I’ll also be offering tools and tips for amping up your power, your radiance and brilliance so that you can access your personal recipe for living sexy.

Let’s talk about the first one…

#1 Old Programming

I’d love for you to look within and ask yourself if you are limiting your own access to your joyous radiance because of old programming. I think it’s one of the most insidious and toxic deterrents of our best, because its often so subconscious and deeply rooted, so much so that we don’t even know it’s there.

For example, I still find at times some residual programming from my fundamentalist church days, even though consciously i don’t believe most of it anymore, subconsciously, i still occasionally find myself black-or-whiting my relationship to the Divine, as if there is a “right” spirituality, and then feel that awful feeling of “falling out of grace” when I make mistakes or act in “unholy” ways. See, it’s still there. When I can spot it, and stop it in its tracks, I can ask “Is this what I really want to believe?”

If the answer is no, I ask myself “What would I rather believe?” As designer of my own faith, I get to choose:  I would rather believe that grace is limitless and nothing that I could do could separate me from my source, which is love. I want to believe that my humanity is not in opposition of my divinity, but an expression of it.

I’d love for you to be a keen observer or yourself in the coming days, and find places where your old programming shows up. Without judgment, without making yourself wrong, just notice. Ask yourself if that’s what you want to believe. Then, if the answer is no, ask yourself what you would rather believe.

You may want to write the new desired belief down, daily. Stick it on a post-it, or in your journal, so you can think about it often. Re-programming our brains takes time. New synapses need to be formed, new evidence collected. But believe me. It is possible.

Just making this one shift, to eliminate the old programming that gets in the way of your joyous radiance will open up the doors for continued shifts, in other areas. It starts simply by noticing, with compassion and kindness.

I hope you’ll join me in the coming weeks as we eliminate together the seven blocks to our own joyous radiance, power and SEXINESS!

Feel free to share your discoveries about your old programming in the comments section below. I’d love to hear from you.

Next week, we’ll talk about the second block to your joyous radiance, sexiness and magnificence. Self-talk. Ohhhh yeah!

You’re Sexy and You Know It

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“When I walk in the spot (yeah), this is what I see (ok)
Everybody stops and they staring at me
I got passion in my pants and I ain’t afraid to show it,
show it, show it, show it…

I’m sexy and I know it.”

-LMFAO

You’ve heard the song. Maybe you’ve even sung along in  your car, or danced with friends to it. It’s goofy and it’s catchy and my goodness, is it loaded with bravado (“No shoes, no shirt, and I STILL get serviced”, for example…) But there’s something in the over-the-top arrogance that the soul recognizes. Yeah. I said soul.

Have you ever felt so sure of yourself, so attractive and on top of your game, confident and put together to the point where your body and your soul are in complete alignment, when your senses are providing a direct line to your spirit and you’re abuzz with reality? When you are sexy, and you know it?

You may have experienced it dancing, making love, climaxing alone, celebrating with friends, completing a project that turned out better than you even expected. Showing up fully for loved ones who need you. Flirting with your new crush, or your husband of 25 years.

You know the feeling.

It’s when who you are on the inside reflects who you are on the outside.

It’s when your senses are fully engaged.

It’s when your experience of yourself becomes High Definition, and the world and everything in it shines brighter for that reason.

It’s when connection, real connection- heart to heart, soul to soul connection happens.

It’s where curiosity meets longing and you’ve never felt more alive.

You’re sexy and you know it.

If you’re not experiencing this at all, or you can’t remember the last time… it may be time for a shift.

Life was meant to be savored. Life is longing to seduce you. There is so much passion, so much richness and flavor and color and texture all around, and guess what? It’s for you.  When you are engaged, fully engaged, with life and the world and yourself, you can’t help to experience a little bravado. Mixed with a tender humility, you feel WOW. You ARE wow, embodied.

Life is a passionate lover, and it matters not if you have a human lover or if you simply decide to let Life itself be your mate, with all of its surprises, seduction, romance, adventures and gifts.

Feeling sexy is your birthright.  And Life has a crush on you. Go on. Flirt.

 

 

The Tyranny of Boob Padding

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“Am I enough, Piggy?”

It was a sexy new little navy blue chemise and I was excited to ‘premiere’ it for my partner.  Its stretchy satiny fabric felt good on my skin, it hugged my curves in all the right places and the light padding built into the chest area made my boobs look fuller and higher.

After a few minutes of kissing and fondling, I got up to use the restroom and was startled to notice in the mirror that the pads in the chest area had become bunched and rumpled and dislodged inside of the gown and now were completely uneven and ridiculous looking! I laughed at myself, yet felt a little embarrassed. Wait! I thought. These can come out! I grabbed a pair of scissors and snipped a tiny hole on the inside layer of fabric and pulled out the two strange looking pads.

Even without the padding, the nightie still provided enough support and hugged my boobs in all the right ways. I looked fine! Not just fine- I looked BETTER.

And then I had an epiphany. These pads were sending me a message. That message that we women get a thousand times a day in a thousand different ways:

YOU ARE NOT ENOUGH.

The message came loud and clear, I’d been hearing it all my life!

But this time, instead of subsconsciously obeying it, I recognized it as a lie. This time, it angered me.  It pissed me off with its sneaky subtlety, something so quiet and ‘unassuming’ as breast padding in a chemise-  but still, the underlying message had attempted to taunt me with my “not-enough-ness.”

Yet, once I took the pads out, I looked and felt better.  My partner’s eyes widened when, with my more natural, unpadded look, I entered the room. And of course, I could feel his touch better without the padding. I WAS BETTER off just being me, without those stupid built-in boob pads.

I am not saying we burn our bras and stop shaving and stop caring about the way we look in an effort to celebrate our enoughness. If that’s where you’re led, awesome! For me, that’s way too extreme and I have way too much fun being girlie for that.

My invitation to SacredSexy YOU  is to simply be aware of when and how those messages sneak into your subconscious.

And some days, when you are feeling brazen enough, my hope is that you say no to the tyranny of boob pads.

I double dog dare you to grab a pair of scissors, cut out the proverbial pads in your life that lie to you and tell you that you are not enough. That your breasts are not big enough. Your legs are not smooth enough. Your face doesn’t look young enough. Your “feminine odor” is not fresh enough. (Floral scented crotchl? Really?)

Decide, just one brave moment at a time, that you are not going to be tyrannized by that message of not-enoughness.

Declare, even if just for a moment, that you ARE enough.  Because really, Goddess, you are.

 

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new front cover TODLExcerpted from my book, Truth or Dare Living: Wild Adventures for Your Sacred, Sexy Soul. Now through the holidays, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite chapters from the book, available on Amazon.com, while I revive and reignite my creative fire with some much needed rest. Enjoy!

Insecurities: The Struggle is Real

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Show me the most beautiful, powerful, successful, actualized, amazing woman in the world, and I’ll show you a woman who sometimes struggles with insecurities.

We all face the darker side of our own feelings about ourselves from time to time, no matter who we are or how hard we have worked on ourselves, how spiritual or “enlightened” we are, how much we have healed, how far we have come… it happens.

And though some of us are better at hiding it from the world than others, none of us are exempt.

Sometimes I struggle to love myself completely.

There. I said it.

Sometimes my inner mean girls, inner gremlins, inner demons, whatever you want to call the voices, those voices, whisper and chant the meanest things to me.

Does my sharing this with you make you think less of me as a woman, a coach, a teacher?

Did you think I had it all together, and that “all together” included never thinking one negative, mean thought about myself, never critiquing myself, never “ugh-ing” myself in the mirror, never ever calling myself a name?

I’m sorry to disappoint you, if that is the case.

Because I stand for radical self-love doesn’t mean I’ve perfected it. Because I believe in self-acceptance doesn’t mean this comes completely effortlessly for me.

If you’ve attended my BodyLove Revolution workshops, you know that one of the first things I share, after I point to the bathrooms and ask you to turn off your cell phone is that I am not immune or completely healed of the negative self-talk and self-loathing judgment that plagues women of our western society. My journey has been arduous and painstakingly bumpy, and very real, and never-ending and yes, I’m still in it. I’m still journeying. But, I say.

But. But on this journey, as I tired of the pain, I have learned many amazing and powerful tools and practices for quieting the critical voices, for cultivating self-love, for remembering who I am, for practicing self-kindess and compassion, for healing the relationship between my body and my mind, and when I practice them, my relationship to myself shifts, it heals.

They work if I work them.

And so of course, I am obligated to share them. We learn, we teach. Some of us are wired this way. Whether we like it or not.

Why am I telling you this?

Perhaps to come clean.

Perhaps because recently, when I told her that I was having a bad day and struggling with self-esteem issues, still another friend looked at me incredulously, jaw dropped, surprised… maybe even disappointed… “You???”  Yes, me.

But my commitment to expand my capacity for self-love and self-acceptance has been recharged. My relationships depend on it. My business depends on it. My life depends on it.

These days, on a bad day, I can remember to turn to myself with compassion, and sometimes I even remember to practice the tools that I teach.

I am not immune to insecurities. But I am not going to lay down and surrender to them, either.

I am devoted to mastering profound self-love and acceptance, and if it takes me the rest of my life to master, so be it.

Perhaps that’s the whole point of living.

I’m in. I’m registered. I’m signed up. I’m enrolled.

I’m no longer enrolled in “Self-Love 101”, but I haven’t earned my Doctorate in Loving Oneself Completely yet, either.

I am a work in progress. I hope you’re okay with that.

 

Boundaries, Baby!

Boundaries1I have a saying about boundaries: You usually don’t know what one is until it’s been crossed.

I have a new boundary that I’d like to declare, based on some recent not-so-pleasant experiences. Without going into details, and keeping in mind that there are two parts to every story, I will give you the condensed version of mine.

I’d been working with an individual for the last few months on some important projects. He has thing called “his way” that seems to be justified by the people in his circle…“Oh that’s just his way,”  a euphemism that was somehow supposed to excuse his behavior.

I found his communication style unpleasant, completely lacking in warmth or kindness, even rude.

I felt uncomfortable approaching him with any questions, his responses were always short and curt, I didn’t like the way I felt, when I was dealing with him.

I am a huge proponent of kindness as a business skill.

I believe that the two seconds it takes to type a “hello” or a “thanks!” is worth more than some people realize.

I also believe that I get to choose who I work with and who I don’t.

I respect myself enough to not align with people who have shitty attitudes. Just that simple.

My fiancé and I had a great discussion recently, where he inspired me to create a business boundary around mutual respect and kindness.

As the creator of my destiny, and my business, I don’t need or want to do business (or anything, for that matter) with someone who is not going to treat me with the same respect and kindness I extend.

I know people are drawn into our lives for a reason. He has definitely been a teacher, revealing to me a new standard, a new criteria for anyone I align with: Simple kindness. Reciprocal respect. Warmth.

Yes, I only want to work with warm, kind people.

It feels good to declare this, and I hope you will consider your life, your interactions, your tolerances. What are you done with? What are you ready to declare? Is there a new boundary coming forth that you will commit to, today?

It’s always a little scary to draw a line, to close a door. Especially for recovering people-pleasers like me. But I trust in a universe that responds to my acts of self-respect. And I know that this shift will create a ripple effect that will attract people into my life and my business that I enjoy working with.

It is not too much to ask to enjoy working with the people I work with. I am the CEO of my life. I love and respect myself enough to choose with care.

I decide who gets in and who doesn’t and I am the boss of me.

That might mean I need to sever relationships that feel ugly and unrewarding.

I’m proud to say I’m okay with that.