excuses

If you’re waiting until you’re “ready”…

gray_waiting_style_model_girl_beauty_alone_hd-wallpaper-1652236-1024x822

I want to tell you today, you will never be ready.
There will never be a perfect time.

That dream you have, you know the one I’m talking about, has been patient, that longing has persisted, yet there are still so many hurdles, so many shifts, so many decisions and actions and tasks and choices that will need to be made before you’re ready, or so you say.

And so the waiting continues. The dream may persist, or it may even get put on a shelf, growing dusty and forgotten, and you’ll find other things, so many other things, to distract yourself with.  There’s work, of course. Family, friends, commitments, car repairs, house repairs, moving, changing jobs, getting married or getting divorced, raising kids, and let’s not forget the PTA.

You’re just not ready yet.

Or perhaps you’re waiting until you get the confidence, feel brave enough, get strong enough, lose the weight, “get your shit together”, get the braces on or off, have the right computer, or the right software, “figure out the details” or find a new excuse… It’s just not time yet.

Is your dream persisting? Or has it ducked into the shadows, neglected and tired?

Your days of playing small are numbered.

You feel it, you know it. But you don’t know where to start. It’s daunting and terrifying, taking a dream, an invisible, intangible idea and pushing it into reality where it becomes a living, breathing extension of you.

So the excuses come in handy. And oh, they are abundant, aren’t they?

Like a box of tissues, you can pull out one, and there will be another one waiting right behind it.

Whatever your excuses are for not doing your dream, I’ve heard them all before. And I’ve also seen them smashed to smithereens by one thing and one thing only: Action.

Make one choice today. Just one little choice. Begin to move. Let your dream seduce you, engage you. Brainstorm. Take notes. Doodle your dream. Tell someone. Buy a domain. Schedule that meeting.

Something.

Anything.

Action.

I want to tell you today, you will never be ready.

There will never be a perfect time.

The only time is now.

You owe it to your dream. Your dream is your duty.

It is not an accident that you are the one that wants what you want.

You are the one with that particular fantasy. With that particular desire.

And guess what? You are also the one with the exact set of experiences, talents and abilities to make your dream happen.

It is not an accident it’s yours.

It chose you.

Now choose it back.

 

*************************************************

Originally published September, 2015. Busy getting ready for tomorrow’s Burlesque Experience Bust-Out! See you there!

Shock Yourself: Loosen the Labels that Bind You

60946129_cf51e5035f_z
Photo courtesy of Flickr Hive Mind.

“I am not the type to let people in.”

“I am the least domesticated person you’ll ever meet.”

“I can’t save money.”

“I always let fear stop me from what I want.”

“I hate when attention is on me.”

“I’m not ever putting myself in a vulnerable situation again.”

“I could never do that.” (Insert your “that” of choice.)

One of the most pervasive and restricting things that keeps us from living life fully, and experiencing our own fullness, is not our circumstances, it’s not our budget, it’s not our past, it’s not our external limitations.

It’s the stories we tell ourselves about who we are.

I hear them all the time. Sometimes, in my own head.

Here’s one I used to tell: I am not the domestic type. I felt strongly about this, because I wanted to feel “wild and free” and to me, being domestic was the opposite of these feelings. I feared it would feel restrictive. Lame, dull.  If I surrendered to domesticity, I’d lose my feminist card, and turn into some sort of Stepford wife.

On a deeper level, the last time I really, truly embraced domesticity was my very short, and very shitty first marriage from the time I was 19 to 21. He had turned out to be an abusive, controlling monster. So maybe on some level, I tied the two together and promised myself, never again, not me.

It wasn’t until very recently I began to challenge this old story, and realized, to my amazement, I can feel wild and free AND domestic. These days, I’m certainly less “wild” than I used to be, (thank goodness) but I’m creating a new definition of who I am. And I love it.

I am domestic. There, I said it. In fact, this is new. It’s just been sinking in, the last couple months.

Like most mornings, this morning, I spent the first few minutes out of bed tidying up the house. My fiancé, Matt and I just moved in, almost three months ago, and while that “honeymoon phase” newness of the house has slightly worn, I still find this act of tidying up to be a meditation of sorts. A blessing, a gift. A prayer.

As I fiddle around, arranging pillows on the couch, throwing in a load of laundry or wiping down the kitchen counters, watering a plant, I feel a giddy sense of joy at the simplicity of my newfound domesticity. See, I was notoriously a self-proclaimed “non-domestic.” Sure, I kept my apartment tidy before the house. But I never cherished tidying up. That is just friggin’ weird.

But here I am, doing it. And when I do, I notice a presence, an awakeness, peppered with gratitude, to be alive, to be sober, and present, to be clear-headed, to be home. In myself. I’m home.

And then, I find wiping the counters, arranging pillows, watering a plant, these simple acts of keeping house, become an act of devotion, a way of saying “Thanks, God.” Me. And upon realizing this, I shock myself.

So how can you shock yourself today? How can you challenge your own binding labels of who you are, and who you are not?

I don’t think it’s just cool or interesting to challenge and loosen the labels that bind us. I daresay, these are acts of defiance, radical acts of revolution. Evolution. And doing so may be imperative to your growth.

Granted, no one knows you better than you, I won’t argue that, but when you definitively declare, out loud to the world, or quietly inside, who you are, or who you are not, you create a box around yourself. Your own little personal prison- how cute! You might decorate it, hang pretty curtains, but as long as you refuse to leave it, as long as you don’t dare explore what might be outside of its walls, you’re in a self-inflicted prison. Isn’t it time you broke out?

Guess what? The box is made of cardboard. Grab a butter knife.

Pretty much every day, in my work, and in my life, I hear definitive declarations of what people think they are and what they think they are not. I listen to stories of limitation and people fighting passionately to live by them, hanging curtains in their cardboard boxes and yes, like I said earlier, now and then, some of the stories I hear are my very own.

Thankfully, almost every day, I also see people defying their own stories and limitations. I see women bravely doing what they thought they could not do. I see courageous souls willing to risk what they think they know about themselves, and the deceptive comfort that comes with that, to explore the other side of that cardboard box. And wow. When they do, amazing, miraculous, transformative and powerful things happen.

Magic happens.

I challenge you today to choose a label or a story or a definitive declaration you’ve held on to, and shock yourself. Do the opposite. Be the opposite. Open up to the possibility that what you think you are is not the be all, end all of who you are.

And watch the magic happen.

You are all things. You contain multitudes.

Why not experience as many of them as you can, in this fleeting moment we call life?

Your Fear is a Master of Disguise

Review41 ScoobyDoo panel5

Remember in every episode of Scooby Doo, at the end, the kids would catch the scary ghost that had been haunting them, only to pull off his mask and discover it was just some guy, pretending to be a scary ghost?

In my countless sessions with clients, conversations with friends, private whining dates with my own journal and years of being in circles of truth-telling women, I’ve noticed something interesting.

All too often, fear holds us back from what it is we want to be, do or create. It is fear that holds us back from letting go, from moving forward, fear holds us back from taking chances and plunges and leaps. Fear gets in the way of our dreams and desires. Fear keep us stuck and small and stagnant and the same.

Yet, in most of those cases, our fear knows that if it came  right out and said, “hey you know what, I’m afraid, and here’s why…” you very likely would see it for what it was and blow right past it. And fear’s motivation is only trying to do its job, after all. Fear wants to protect you, guard you, keep you safe, keep you stuck, keep things the same.

Fear has picked up some tricks on its journey. It’s clever. It’s strategic. It has to be. So in order to get you to pay attention, in order to get you to stay “safe,” here’s what fear does: it disguises itself as other things.

Do you have a desire or dream or change you haven’t been able to create movement with, for one reason or another?

See if you recognize any of these disguises fear uses, when it comes to your dream…

  • Disguise #1: Preparation – Classes, courses, certifications, research, prep work, organizing, re-organizing, re-re-organizing. You know what I’m talking about. The problem with these is that just when you achieve one level, you quickly convince yourself that there is something else you need to know or achieve or accomplish to do the dream. I once worked with a client who was stuck in a standstill with her new business launch until she got a new set of office shelves. Shelves. Her dream was on a shelf because of shelves.
  • Disguise #2: Procrastination – Once I finish this Netflix binge, I’ll work on that business plan. I would do that tonight but I am beat. I’ll get to that thing tomorrow. Or the next day, but soon! Procrastination has a nice payoff too. It’s a lot easier to put things off then to do them. And by easier, I also mean “safer”.
  • Disguise #3: Limitations – A wise friend once said to me “argue for your limitations and they’re yours.” it was a punch in the gut at the time, because I was literally arguing for my limitations when she said it. That’s the thing about limitations. If you want ’em, you got ’em. They certainly love being coddled. In fact, they absolutely BLOSSOM with attention. I hear them all the time. I’m too young. I’m too old. I’m too fat. I’m too broke. I’m too busy. I’m too this, I’m too that. Our perceived limitations quite quickly become TRUTH. If we choose for them to be. Or… we can be wild and crazy and blow right through them. I’ve seen that a few times too. I’ve even been lucky enough to have done it.
  • Disguise #4: Blame or finger-pointing – This clever disguise of fear likes to convince you that it’s somebody else’s fault that you are not doing what it is you came to do. That if it weren’t for that crappy husband, boss, mom, dad, you’d be doing your dream. If it weren’t for THEM, you know… THEM,  you’d be different. You’d change. You really would.
  • Disguise #5: Busyness – We all juggle a lot. I get it. But here’s the thing. The obligations, commitments and time bandits in your life because you allowed them in. You chose them. You actually did. You have two choices here. You can continue to use busyness as a convenient hiding place for fear. Or you can make some space. Commit to your desires. Squeeze in five minutes a day. Do whatever you can. So often we think that soon, just around the corner, life is about to get way less busy. Guess what? It does not. We make the time for what’s most important. If you don’t like the way you spend your time, if the way you spend your time is interfering with a dream, make some cuts. Delete. Re-org. And if you still can’t find the time, chances are, it’s fear making sure you stay nice and busy because it’s safer, and you get to stay the same. Remember, fear loves that.

In which of those five do you identify your fear in disguise? It’s time to shine the light at them. Reveal them.

Think back to when you were a kid. Sometimes simply shining the flashlight on the scary monster in the dark room proves that it’s just a sweater on a chair.

Shine the flashlight on your fear. And then maybe, you can choose differently. One choice at a time.

But first we must call it them out. Nothing changes til we call them out.  Maybe a journal entry like this…

“I see you, Fear! Disguising yourself as _____ and ____. How clever and wily of you. Sadly though, I’m on to you. I’m hip to what you’re throwing, I’m no longer fooled by your conniving ways. I get it. You want us to stay safe. You want me to stay the same. I understand. But here’s the thing. I can’t. So just to give you a heads up, I’m going to be _______ and ______ in the coming days. Starting now, I’m also going to be ________.

I’ve got dreams. Desires. Plans. Big things to do. You no longer get to be in charge.

Your services are no longer needed.”

Are you ready to do that? There is no time to lose. The time is now. The world needs your gifts, your message, your smile, your creations, your song, your dance, your ministry, your magic, your mischief, your heart, wide open, spilling forth.

And Fear is just going to have to deal with that.

Rebel Against Your Own Excuses. Do the Thing.

no-more-excuses

Well, I did it.

I’d been avoiding it forever, I had a million great excuses why I was not “ready” to create SacredSexyU videos.

Because I was so sick of hearing myself say I needed this or that to create high-gloss, high-glam videos, I realized this morning that the only way I was finally going to get past these excuses was to blow past them.

By rebelling against my own “shoulds” and being the very opposite of what I had thought I “had” to be (glamorous), this morning, I finally did the thing.

And I did it without makeup on or my hair fixed; I wasn’t even dressed, guys.

Did I feel awkward at first? Yes.

Did I feel uncomfortable? Yes, for a little bit.

Did I feel vulnerable? Very yes.

And then guess what happened? I had a video.

And more. I feel braver now. Suddenly I am no longer afraid of video. They will only get better from here.

My excuses are gone, I did the thing.

What’s the thing you’ve been wanting to do, but your excuses have kept you stuck?

How can you totally rebel against your excuses? How can you blow past them?

DO THE THING.

You know The Thing. That thing you’ve been avoiding, staying safe in a nice cushy nest of excuses. You know exactly what I’m talking about. I dare you to tell me what The Thing is, in the comments below.

And while you’re doing things, will you please subscribe to my new YouTube channel?

Without further ado, here it is, my Thing. I did it.