growth

Ditch that Lousy Dance Partner

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Is there something you’ve been struggling with, something you can’t seem to get ‘on top of’, in spite of the rules and goals and intentions and restrictions and rewards and all the things you’ve been trying?

It could be anything from unhealthy eating habits, to too much maryjane to happy hours that put too much of a dent in your wallet to hanging out with people that don’t honor and respect you.

It could be excessive shopping, excessive wine, promiscuity that leaves you feeling empty, excessive work, excessive procrastination, excessive Netflix, excessive niceness.

Is there an area in your life you trying to will-power your way to healing? Are you trying to white-knuckle your way through managing a bad habit? Force-feeding your soul with rules and restrictions and regulations for how you will live, how you will get a grip on this one thing?

How’s that working?

Exhausted yet?

I get it.

I’d struggled for a long time with not feeling good about the ways and increasing frequency I was turning to alcohol to feel good, to abandon a crappy mood, or feel “in the mood”, to socialize, to connect, to “get through life.”

I hated that I smoked cigarettes. I was embarrassed and ashamed more often than I care to admit.

I didn’t like the way I was feeling about myself. I didn’t like the way I kept breaking promises to myself. I was tired of feeling like crap for an entire day or two after tearing it up on a Friday night.

I was exhausted. It wasn’t working any more.

It’s like I had an inconsistent lover who made me feel great sometimes, who said and did all the right things, then we’d go to bed and the next day, he’d turn on me. It was no longer good.

The pain was just not worth the pleasure.

It takes a LOT of energy to dance with a crappy dance partner. Yet I kept trying to dance.

I kept trying to tango, and my dance partner wanted to slam dance.

Finally, I came to the realization that it wasn’t the dance that wasn’t working. It was the partner. For me to be truly free, I needed to sever the relationship.

And so I did.

On the first day of a brand new year, I quit smoking and said goodbye to spirits of the chemical kind and became a brand new me.

Yes, me. The eternal party girl. Lord knows, I’ve had one very long party.

That party is finally over, for me. No more screwing around. I left the dance floor. I found that my strength would not ever be coming through managing or restricting or limiting. That works for many. It wasn’t working for me.

My strength would come from ending the dance, once and for all.

Guess what? No more broken promises to myself. No more feeling bad about myself. No more energy wasted on trying to manage an unruly dance partner.

So now there is a new party, and it’s one of feeling good, feeling strong, being healthy, hangover-free weekends, lots of money saved, weight lost, new energy, new passion, better skin. Better relationships.

Better everything.

Are you trying to limit something with rules and restrictions, when really, you should just stop altogether?

Trying to dance with a lousy dance partner?

What if you just left the dance?

You can keep struggling, you can keep fighting, or you can walk away from the fight.

I’m not saying abstinence is for everyone. Of course not!

I CAN say it’s working very well for me.

I have been working on myself for my entire adult life. Always healing, dealing, feeling, revealing, and now I am doing so in braver, bolder ways.

This is the most important work on myself I have ever done.

Is there something in your life that makes a lousy dance partner, but you keep trying to dance with?

What if you stopped trying and simply decided you were done.

No more trying, what if you just walked  away from what is not working? Stopped. Let it go.

What if you stopped going to bed with this lousy lover, with a lover that doesn’t love you back?

What if you stopped trying to make something work that is clearly broken?

You need all your energy and life force for other things, like doing your work in the world, like living an ecstatic, joyful life, like loving and creating, and connecting and living in the light, so bright, it’s almost blinding.

Bring your sunglasses.

Step out of the shadows. Step into the light. Claim your freedom. You can be free.

The bright, radiant, glowing light of who you can be when you finally decide once and for all to stop playing small, to stop giving your power away, to stop shrinking yourself down and sabotaging your own well-being in order to “get through life.”

No more “getting through life.”

It’s time for a new dance partner.

Life is the best dance partner of all, has all the grace, all the excitement, all the best moves, all the passion. All the finesse. All the everything you’ve ever longed for. All you’ve ever dreamed of.

I promise.

You can do this.

When the time is right, you will know. When you’re ready, you will know.

Care to tango?

 

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p.s. Sometimes we need some support to ditch our lousy dance partners. Going it alone is possible, but hey, let’s face it, it’s tougher. We belong to each other. Support is available. I’ve got mine. Get you yours.

p.p.s I posted a new video blog for you where I talk more about the changes I’ve made. You’re invited to make your own changes, on behalf of your best life ever.

Relapse

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Not very long ago, November 12th, just about a month ago, to be exact, I wrote a braggy blog about how I had kicked overwhelm’s butt, about how I had cured myself of stressful living and spreading myself too thin. You may remember it?

“I’m even getting stubborn and refusing to let myself feel the anxious, overwhelmed, heart-pounding, adrenaline-pumping feeling that used to be my normal. I just can’t live like that anymore. Well, I “could”. But I choose not to.”

Want to find out how quickly you aren’t done with something? Write a blog telling the world how you’re done with it.

Month later-me is shaking my damn head at last-month-me’s arrogance.

Yep, I relapsed.

When I wrote “My name is Lisa and I am a recovering adrenaline junkie. I have spent a lifetime, decades, in a rush toward the ever-changing finish line, overloading, overextending, overwhelmed. That’s just the way I did life. I think I even made myself slightly late to everything so that I could get that rush, that rush that came from rushing…” I meant it.

The relapse into old ways didn’t happen all at once. Ironically, it happened the exact same way I had made the changes toward stress-free living in the first place… once choice at a time.

Saying yes to this and yes to that. Signing up for courses and RSVPing for events. Let’s throw in the holidays, a new program launch, four holiday parties in three nights, a terrible head cold and cough and a five-day trip. My new healthier, cleaner eating went out the window as I stuffed carbs and flour into my face because I was on vacation. (Before that, it was because it was Thanksgiving.)

And bam, there I was. Overwhelmed, unfocused, frazzled, exhausted, making mistakes left and right, coughing, sneezing, stressed.

I am not saying I don’t love my life, or that I’m not grateful to have a busy career, active social life and commitments that matter. These things matter greatly to me, and I cherish my life and all of its complications and adventures. What I am saying is that a watered-down version of me does no one any good, especially me. Driving on empty is dangerous. Stress kills. There is a better way. I am learning to do things differently.

Here’s the difference this time around. Here’s where I can confidently trust that I am making real progress on my path.

  • I caught myself (relatively) quickly.
  • I compassionately and lovingly evaluated my life, without beating myself up for being a “hypocrite,” instead, gently acknowledging my human-ness.
  • I’m bravely facing the truth about myself that there are still some aspects of me still in need of healing, and this is one of them. For me, still, busy-ness and overwhelm happen too naturally, and there’s some self-examination to do around the why of this decades-old pattern.
  • In the interest of transparency, I made the decision to come clean with you, instead of carrying on the ruse that I was “still clean” of my addiction to busy-ness and adrenaline.
  • I addressed the problem right away, choice by choice, getting myself back on track with my practices for centering, self-care and reconnecting with spirit, with myself.
  • I promised myself not to add any more commitments or events to my calendar this year (except one important one still unscheduled.) (You might have to hold me to this one, friends.)

I need more stillness.

I need to bring myself back to center. Again and again.

I need to get quiet.

I need to slow down.

I’m not “out of the woods” yet, when it comes to strong, consistent, solid practices to keep me out of stress-mode and living a peaceful life of ease and trust. It’s a practice. A daily practice.

And if I spend the rest of my life in practice (I probably will), I’m okay with that, because I love myself unconditionally, and I am always in process.

I am aware.

“Without awareness, there can be no choice.” It’s been said.

Where in your life lately have you “missed the mark” or taken a step or two backwards?

Where or how have you relapsed?

Can you offer yourself compassion for your slip?

Can you gently course-correct, without cruelty or punishment? Without beating yourself up?

Can you allow your imperfectly, perfect self some slack, because you’re very, very human after all?

I am humbled, and I am back on track. How many times will I need to get back on track? As many as it takes.

You?

Rebel Against Your Own Excuses. Do the Thing.

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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.

The Sacred Disconnect

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This spiritual path you are traveling is exactly the one you are meant to travel. All of it is part of the journey. All of it is sacred. Yes, all of it.

Often we feel we are on the “right” spiritual path until things go “wrong.” Until we get bamboozled or blindsided or sidetracked or take a detour to become an addict or develop a compulsion for shopping or shoplifting or get fired or get divorced or get drunk or forget who we are or take up sleeping pills or sleeping around or sleeping all day and then we’ve blown it- we’re “off” the spiritual path.

Way back in my church days, we called that “backsliding.” It was all very black and white- you were either right with God or going to Hell. You were either saved or damned. you were either washed in the Blood or a back-slidden sinner.

So of course, we were set up to be in constant struggle, anytime our humanity showed up and we found ourselves less than “Godly.” And so continued the split, the rejection of selves, the self-hatred and self-condemnation.

I don’t believe that to be true anymore.

The addictions, the shoplifting, the eating disorders, the failed marriages, the broken hearts, the affairs, the distractions, the detours, the pain we face in our very complicated, very human lives- it’s all part of the spiritual path. It’s all an essential part of the journey.

Of course, these aren’t the highest, brightest manifestations of our lives. I’m not saying go out, get wasted, rob a convenience store and sleep with your sister’s husband just to write it off as part of your spiritual journey. That would be way too easy, and way too careless. Plus, our actions catch up with us: karma can be a bitch.

But I don’t think there are any “detours” on the spiritual path, and I don’t think we can ever leave it. The only danger to the spiritual path is unawareness.

But you know what? Funny thing is, even unawareness is part of the spiritual path! Suicide? Part of the spiritual path. Cursing God? Despair? Yep. Part of the path. All of it.

All of it, meaning everything.

Your spiritual journey is all your own. It’s meant to be exciting and adventurous. Think of Dorothy on the way to the land of Oz.

She had to leave home to find home, just like we do.

She thought she needed something outside of herself to get to where she wanted to be. Just like we do.

She ends up going through all kinds of crazy shit to find her “guru” – the wizard. Just like we do.

Only to find out she had what she needed all along, those ruby slippers, coveted by witches everywhere, to get back to where she wanted to be, just like we do.

As you continue on your spiritual path, I implore you to be as gentle and as compassionate toward yourself as you can possibly be. Keep in mind that it’s pretty normal and human and again, part of the spiritual journey, to at times be detached from your own inner voice, to not “feel” spiritual, to be completely disconnected from your soul’s language.

Even this disconnect is sacred!

We disconnect in order to feel separation. Without separation, we would not recognize connection. We must experience darkness in order to define the light. Without winter, how would we define spring? Without hot, how would we define cold? It’s all part of the great and perfect totality.

If you are looking for a spiritual path, look to the ground. You’re already on it.

If you’re looking for a guru, look in the mirror. You are what you’ve been looking for.

If you’re looking for your sacred text, look within. You already are holy truth.

You’re looking for your way back home? Guess what, Dorothy? You’re already wearing the ruby slippers.

 

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(c)2012 – Excerpted from my book, “Truth or Dare Living: Wild Adventures for your Sacred, Sexy Soul” available on Amazon.com.

The Old You, the Now You, the New You? All YOU.

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photo by dee hill

So many people I work and play with come with a common need: to reconnect with part of themselves that they have lost.

I know this feeling. I’m quite familiar with it, in fact.  But I also know sometimes that being who we ‘used to be’ isn’t a fair or realistic option.

When I watch  one of my favorite shows, A & E’s, Intervention, and the family’s all joined together to tearfully read their pleas for rehab to their addicted loved one, something they often say jostles me. Many times, they’ll say something along the lines of… “I just want the old you back…”

But is it the “old” version of them that really needs returning?

I’m not saying I can’t or don’t relate to the despair of loving someone with an addiction, I get it, on a very intimate level, in fact.

I’m also not saying that I can’t understand the human inclination we sometimes have to wish we could ‘rewind life’ and go back to a simpler time, a more innocent time. I get that, too.

But I also think this: The ‘old’ version of the addict is the one that became addicted.  The one that was suffering, and numbing out in various ways, hiding secret pain, secret shame, and heading in the direction of the very addiction that brought them to the NOW. The exact and perfect now, the only place where NEW can begin.

Why not start right there?

So that’s what I’m reminded of when people I work and play with talk about wanting to be who they used to be…

“I used to be so free. I used to be so thin. I used to be so confident. I used to be so sexy. I used to be so strong. I used to be so happy…”  I get that, too.

But what I also know is this:  There is an even better version of you than the past version of you. After all, the past version of you became ‘outdated’ for a reason.

The NEW version of you will be a beautiful and organic combination of who you are NOW, and who you have been.

Take ALL of it… the good, the bad, the strength, the pain, the mistakes, the glory, the extra weight, the laugh lines, the attitude, the insecurities, the lessons, the mysteries, the tenderness and grace that you have earned along the way.

All of it is necessary for the perfect recipe, the magic formula, the miraculous terrain, the Divine Totality of the You that you are becoming.

Instead of striving for who you used to be, (she’s gone, after all…)  lean into the completely NEW, more exalted, more sovereign, more complete, more integrated, more healed and more experienced version of yourself.

And in your new glory, you can be thankful for who you used to be, who you are now, and who you are becoming.

Always, you are becoming.

*****

(c)2012 – Excerpted from my book, “Truth or Dare Living: Wild Adventures for your Sacred, Sexy Soul” available on Amazon.com.

Fashion Rules, Pumpkin Spice, Leggings, Shaming and a Better Way

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A couple years ago, I decided to cut my hair because I’d been hearing and reading that women over 40 should not have long hair. I did it. I hated it. I could not grow my long hair back quickly enough.

I decided then to have long hair forever and ever amen, or at least as long as I wanted to.

Call it a perk of being in my 40s, but something new is emerging in me, and I’m embracing and welcoming an absolute resolve to wear what I want, be who I want, ignore “fashion rules” when I want. I’m getting better at loving myself, and one way I show love to me is by dressing and adorning myself in ways that please me. About me. For me. Screw the “rules”.

Let’s stop telling each other how to dress, what clothes or hair or shoes or whatnot is age appropriate, size appropriate, life appropriate.

If you like it, it’s appropriate.

And can we quit with this “basic” thing, please? It’s become a running quip that liking Uggs and pumpkin spice and yoga pants makes you “basic.” I am not defending Uggs specifically, because I personally don’t like them, but I promise not to judge you or your worth or your depth by the boots you choose to wear, even if I think they’re Uggly.  And somehow pumpkin spice and yoga pants have worked their way into the “basic” qualifying checklist, among other preferences and likes. Can we all come to terms with how dumb that is?

Like what you like. Let me like what I like.

Here’s the thing. We are all basic. And none of us are.

It is not your business what I wear and or how I like my lattes.

We joke “Haha, I’m so basic!” as a way of diffusing this, I suppose. It helps. Offsetting, detracting, self-deprecating silliness, sure.

But this woman-on-woman ridiculing– we cannot afford it. It is a waste of time and energy and eats away at any sort of progress we are making together as women. Subtle, like termites, but damaging nonetheless.

A quick Google search of “fashion rules” brought up 146,000,000 hits. Apparently there are a lot of people with a lot to say about how I should or shouldn’t dress.

The infamous “People of Wal-Mart” has over 1.3 million followers on Facebook alone, mostly by posting ridiculing pictures of people, mostly women, and their outfits, without their even knowing they are being photographed.

The shaming has got to stop.

If we’re going to band together to save the world like the superheroes we are, like a world in crisis needs us to, we have got to stop with the subtle and not-so-subtle ridiculing and shaming, and turn our judgment inward, as an opportunity to reflect on the question “Who the hell do I think I am?”

It’s a humbling question. And it’s the curiously contrary flipside to the paradox that we are eternal, ethereal, divine and powerful. But at the same time, who the hell do we think we are when we pass judgment, in jest or in seriousness, on the way another woman is expressing herself, dressing or not dressing, adorning herself, taking her coffee, wearing leggings as pants, long hair over 40, white after labor day, shaving or not shaving?

It is not our place. It does not matter.

What matters more is showing up in the world expressively reflecting the beauty and radiance that exists within you. Looking to the woman we’re inclined to judge and noticing and drawing attention to the beauty and radiance that exists within her.

What matters more is having the freedom to be exactly who you are, and honoring and respecting my freedom to be exactly who I am.

What matters more is that we stand up for each other, with each other, that we set down our protective mechanisms of judgment, snark, sarcasm and ridicule, and embrace a braver, more vulnerable, more accepting, more compassionate and more loving way of being a woman.

Imagine, just imagine, how beautiful we’d all be, if we lived like this every day. If we showed up for one another like this every day. Or even every other day. Imagine what we could accomplish together.

Trust me, I’m not claiming to be perfect. I am not claiming to be immune or righteous or some magnanimous being, floating around, sending love 24/7.  Of course I sometimes slip into this cheap and easy way of sorting and classifying and organizing the world. I’m tempted and sometimes succumb in conversations, before I realize it, mindlessly munching on this low-hanging fruit of female bonding. But I’m getting better at noticing it, and at choosing differently.

So if we’re hanging out, and you catch me in this sort of conversation, call me out, stop me. Remind me there’s a better way.

There’s a higher fruit, up there, in the top branches. It’s juicy, full of nourishment and love and respect and support. And it’s delicious. Wanna bite? There’s plenty for everyone, just requires a little more reach and a little more stretch.

 

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!

 

 

 

Excuses and Blame, We Love ‘Em! I’ll Tell You Why…

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“I’d be happier at work if I didn’t work with such idiots…”

“My parents mistreated me as a kid, so that’s why I can’t get close to anyone…”

“I can’t find love because I first need to lose 50 pounds…”

“I don’t have the time/money/energy to nurture that dream…”

“My husband cheated on me so I am unable to trust men…”

“I’d leave this job, but there are just no jobs available in my field…”

And the list goes on and on… those lovely excuses, we sure rely on them. The blame game, our litany of readily-accessible excuses as to why our lives are not operating to our liking.

I have plenty of experience hiding behind excuses. One particular experience remains a defining moment for me. Maybe around 15 years ago, sitting in a Starbucks with two trusted girlfriends, we took turns speaking about dreams and desires, in that free-flowing-girl-chat kind of way. I whined and complained, quite eagerly justifying my lack of risk-taking with a well-rounded and very boring pack of well-worn excuses.

“Argue for your limitations and they’re yours.” One wise friend interrupted.

“You sure say ‘I can’t’ an awful lot…” the other friend chimed in, as a bang-pop follow-up. Both of them, coming at me, at the same time. Oooph. Felt like a punch to the stomach. Two punches, actually.

Tears immediately began to flow from my eyes. Why were they gaining up on me? Weren’t they supposed to be on my side? Weren’t they supposedly my friends? Yes, they were. And real friends, not just in it for the mutual ass-kissing, will call you out on your b.s., and they expect you to do the same for them.

We are often so committed to our excuses, our justifications for the why’s or why-not’s of our unfulfilled potential, dreams, longings that we will fight to the death to protect them.

I decided that moment, and have decided again a few other moments since, not to let excuses, limitations or blame block me from my happiness. It’s something I continue to confront, because well, besides the being human thing, it’s so much easier to have an excuse.

Isn’t it?

Blame and excuses are beautifully designed so that we can shrug our shoulders haughtily and proclaim “Not my fault!”

Blame and excuses are brilliant and convenient because behind their safety, no action is required. No commitment necessary. 

And with no action comes no risk. With no action comes no potential for failure. With no action comes no potential for success. Success its own very special set of risks, too.

We so love excuses and blame because as long as we have them to point to…

“Look! This is why! This is why I can’t/don’t/won’t… This is why I still… This here. This thing. NOT ME.”

… we don’t have to do a damned thing.

We’ve been talking for several weeks now about the insidious deadly blocks that get in the way of our full power, radiance, magic and merriment. Blame and excuses are notorious.  And while the others we’ve talked about… old stories, judging, comparing, negative self-talk are more blatant, blame and excuses are sneakier because they disguise themselves as REAL TRUTH. Our egos’ clever and deceptive technique for staying the same. For not taking risks. For not taking action. For not letting go. For not taking flight.

Excuses keep us safe.

What I mean is “safe.” I’d be doing the air-quotes if we were face-to-face.

So let’s do an experiment. I want you to think about your life and one thing, one desire or longing or dream you have, until now, not been able to achieve or create. Write it down at the top of a piece of paper. Now list the excuses and reasons you have not achieved or created this goal or desire.

Let ‘em loose. Let ‘em go hog wild on that piece of paper.

Then, when you’ve exhausted them and they have nothing else to say, pick up that piece of paper, wave it around and let its flimsiness be a symbol. Hold it up to your eyes. Notice, you cannot see through the paper, it blocks your vision, but if you want, you can tear it up, you can flush it down the toilet, you can set it on fire, you can bury it in the yard. This flimsy piece of paper has about as much power as your excuses.

YOU have all the power.

I joke with clients, “I have good news and bad news. The good news is it’s all up to you. The bad news is it’s all up to you.”

When we take responsibility and own the fact that it really is all up to us, there is no one or nothing left to blame. Gasp.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and a more probing question than to ask yourself for your list of convenient excuses is to ask yourself what you are avoiding by keeping your blame and excuses handy? What are you conserving? What’s your pay-off? There is always a pay-off, or we wouldn’t keep doing things the way we’re doing them. Dr. Phil taught me that. Can’t you just hear his Texas-twang… “There’s gotta be a pay-off; why else would you stay stuck?”

When you realize that it’s not that you can’t, because of A, B or C. But because you won’t, your power is taken back. It’s all yours. So then comes the biggest question of all…

What will you do with your power?

Be more YES.

Taking a mini-blog break, Seven Deadly Blocks series continues next week. Til then, enjoy this encore blog!

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Your life is beckoning you, seducing you, begging you, inviting you to open fully to its offerings, and its offerings are immeasurable. In every situation, every choice, every encounter, every conflict, every moment, life is asking you to say yes. So is mine.

We all know the famous Helen Keller quote “Life is a daring adventure or nothing.”

There’s a catch. It’s only a daring adventure when we say yes.

Think of your life right now, take a bird’s eye view and look at the whole of your current experience.

Where are you fully engaged, fully present, in the yes? Where do you greet life’s invitation for the rich fullness of experience? Where is it easy for you to stay open, to stay permeable, to say yes?

In your relationship with your partner?

In your work?

In your body?

In your hobbies or passions or outlets for expression?

And then the inevitable question… Where in your life could you be more yes?

Where is it difficult for you to stay open? To listen? To receive? To release your position, your stronghold, your agenda, your resistance, your righteousness, and simply unfold your creases and open to the potential of Yes?

In your relationship with your partner?

In your work?

In your body?

In your hobbies or passions or outlets for expression?

I bet there is at least one area in your life where you are holding back, hiding, resisting, numbing, limiting your experience. It’s okay to be afraid. Notice and name your fear, and then…

What if you said Yes?

It takes tremendous courage to live in the Yes. It’s dangerous and not for wimps.

Sometimes, when it gets too real, too intense, too big, we even scurry back to the No. to the closed, seemingly safer, smaller life.

But cocoons were never meant to be a long term housing solution.

It’s time to wiggle your way free.

Grow or die.

Daring adventure…

Or nothing. Is it time for a Yes?

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Wanting to be more YES? Tired of living life on the sidelines? It’s time to Live Dangerously. Check out my new program, starts 9/14. Special bonus package if you enroll by 8/10!!!