power

Baby, You’re Worth It.

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Click for video. What if this was your anthem for 2018?

It happens every year. Millions of us start the year with determination and resolve…

This is The Year.I will eat healthier. I will exercise more. I will create new habits to work toward my dreams…

And then, one by one, by February, almost all resolutions have been dumped by the side of the road, like last year’s Christmas tree.

And does that mean you failed at resolutions, or did the resolutions fail you?

There are a few theories I have about why this happens, why we start strong with such good intentions, such fierce determination, only to eventually fizzle out.

The bottom line is this. Resolutions rarely work.

Yet we are so quick to blame ourselves.

If I was just determined enough, disciplined enough, focused enough, we often think. If only I had more will power.

Ahh, will power. That evasive, invisible force that seems to start strong and fresh each morning, only to evaporate by day’s end.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing what I’ve learned about change, commitment, creating healthy new habits and ditching old, unhealthy ones, in hopes that you’ll feel extra supported as you move deeper into 2018, hopefully with your commitments strengthening.

But here’s where it starts, my lovely friend.

You must believe you are worthy of your desires.

You’ve gotta believe, all the way to your core, that you deserve this.

And I think all too often, deep down inside, we don’t really believe in our own deservability.

Getting healthier takes extra time and effort. Shopping, chopping, slicing and dicing veggies for a salad is, ugh… so much more time-consuming and expensive than say, Jack in the Box drive-thru.

And you are so worth it.

The next time you are going the extra mile for yourself, hassling over yourself, chopping, dicing, juicing, getting your butt to the gym in cold, crappy weather, paying for dance classes, whatever that extra effort might be, what if you turned your effort or extra hassle into an act of devotion, instead? An act of worthiness and deservability. An act of love.

What if you repeated this to yourself, over and over? I am worth the effort.

Baby, I’m worth it.

Think about the things you have done for others that are time-consuming and take extra effort.

Maybe you drove all over town looking for that special Christmas list item for your kid. Because your children are worth the effort.

Maybe you are dating someone you’re crazy about and you spent hours in the kitchen preparing a special dinner for them. Because that person is worth the effort.

Maybe you spent hours knitting that scarf for your favorite cousin. Because she is worth the effort.

It’s so easy to do these extra things for the people we care about, because they are worth it. Their smiles, their satisfaction, their happiness matters to us.

And you, my friend, are also worth the effort. You are so worth the effort.

I’ll never forget my fantastic client Jennifer, that told me how her amazing, succulent wild woman, poet aunt, responds, when receiving a gift from someone…

“You are so good to me, and I am so deserving.”

Don’t you just love that?

We are so deserving.

And in a couple weeks, (or days!) when your resolutions or intentions for 2018 start to lose their luster, falling flat, like the carbonation fizzled out of a soda… remind yourself.

You are worth the effort.

Every ounce of extra effort it takes for you to be, do or have whatever it is you want, is worth it.

Because you are deserving, so deserving.

Believe it, know it.

And remind yourself, as you course down the aisles of that pricey health food store, or write that check for the yoga pass, or power through cravings as you break that nicotine habit, or dice and slice and chop your ingredients all Sunday afternoon for your weekly meal prep.

I am so deserving.

Baby, I’m worth it.

Four Out of Four

 

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When I was in my early twenties, taking public transit everywhere, on the south side of Chicago, I was harassed by men, every single day. Regularly cat-called, propositioned, sometimes they flashed their dicks or masturbated at red lights while I stood at the bus stop. Sometimes they followed me, circling the block several times, trying to lure me to take rides from them. Sometimes I was very scared. Mostly, I was furious.

I wanted to fight back. I was tired of feeling like a victim, like I just had to take this. I began a ‘strategy’ of pulling out a notebook and writing down license plates. I wanted to scare them into thinking they might get in trouble. It helped me feel empowered. Sometimes it did scare them off, sometimes it didn’t. 

I was a pre-school teacher, I worked for a woman in her mid-forties, the owner of the school, Lori. I’d come in to work some days shaken and scared, or furious and raging. She told me I should dress differently. She told me “someday you’ll miss that, trust me.”

I’m in my mid-forties now. I get harassed less on the street now. I’m rarely scared for my safety. I haven’t seen a stranger’s dick waving at me at a red light in many years. And no, Lori, I don’t miss all that, not one bit.

I’m thinking about this today, because there’s a national conversation going on, about sexual harassment. Another rich, powerful man has come into public light as a sexual predator. Women everywhere are talking. Sharing our personal stories.

“One in four” is a statistic we commonly hear. It applies specifically to rape and physical sexual assault. One in four is too many, and further research shows that’s probably not even an accurate number, that it’s likely even higher. But if violence against women is a spectrum, with rape and murder at the far end of the spectrum, every one of us, as women, has endured, survived, or not survived, some sort of abuse, from men, in our lifetimes. This is part of the female experience in America. Like getting our periods, or experiencing puberty, or menopause. This is not one in four. How “generously” short-sighted to create the implication that three out of four of us are left unscathed by sexual violence from men.

We must begin to understand that sexual abuse or violence is not limited to rape or physical assault. We are coming to realize that it’s so pervasive, it’s universal. This is the free bonus that comes with being born a female.

If rape and murder are at one far end of the spectrum, the ultimate, most devastating violations, what’s at the other end? Mansplaining, says Kelly Diels, Feminist Marketing Consultant. I think I agree. A little further along is cat-calling. Comments, gropey hugs, seething noises, indecent exposures, unwanted advances, following, inappropriate propositions, abuse of power for sexual gratification… there are countless ways to be sexually abused. How many marks could we plot, on our personal spectrums, if we were to tally our individual experiences? Dozens? Hundreds? Thousands?

I’m thinking a lot about my boss Lori today. Maybe because I’m about the age she was when she said those things to me. What had Lori internalized, in her lifetime, about being a woman, about her worth as a female, about aging, attention, desirability? What beliefs did she have, deeply rooted in her, that made her think that these attentions were somehow enviable (when she wasn’t telling me I was asking for it)? One thing I’m pretty certain of – she did not invent them.

She was about twice my age, born of a different generation, called herself a feminist. Yet… did she really miss being harassed? What kind of twisted bedfellows had she made of validation and abuse? How different we are. Yet, our similarities are less savory to consider.

I think about what I was wearing back then… some days a thick, heavy coat, during the bitter cold of winter. I was bundled up for below-zero temps one of the times a guy was masturbating “for me” at the red light, while I stood, nauseated, at my bus stop, pretending not to notice, praying for the light to change. But some days, in the summertime, I wore short shorts and tight tank tops. It was hot out. And on those days, I was harassed more frequently, no doubt. So what message was I sending, by wearing the clothing I chose to wore, and showing the skin I chose to reveal? Was I asking for it? Of course not. I know this, on one level, the wise part of me knows this. But the world we live in has taught me otherwise. I must be vigilant in identifying these messages, these lies. I must pluck them out of my belief system, one by one. They are bacteria. They keep my system infected.

What a multi-layered, tangled mess of messages and lessons, myths and lies we’ve been fed, so muddled and mucky it may take us generations to unravel them.

And if I am truly honest with myself, sometimes, when I am out with friends, for example, feeling beautiful, I want to be noticed. I want to be wanted. As a “woman of a certain age,” I find myself occasionally missing the response I would get from men, in public, when I was in my twenties and thirties. Not the harassment, of course, but the noticing. I refuse to feel shame for this. And for Lori, maybe harassment was just a seedier form of being noticed. And maybe any noticing at all, to her, was more appealing than feeling invisible. Like Lori, there is a shadowy part of me that connects desirability with my value as a woman, I know this is a lie, but it’s deep in there, because in our culture, the greatest perceived threat to a woman’s value is aging. 

I remember, in my early 30s, being at a gas station with a girlfriend, Jennie, getting gas and cigarettes on a Saturday night, on our way to the club. A couple of men made seething noises and called to us in Spanish, and she went off. She screamed and raged and called them names and maybe even banged her fist on the hood of their car, and told them to fuck themselves, screamed at them, asking if they had daughters, if they had wives. Called them fucking perverts.

I was shocked, I had never seen a response like this. A far cry from my little notebook and license plate strategy. I was partly in awe. And I was partly embarrassed. She’d caused a scene. Her rage made me uncomfortable. And I was still very committed to being inoffensive, nice and demure. Ladylike and tolerant. I had stopped using the notebook many years before. My strategy had become to ignore, pretend they didn’t exist, pump my gas and look the other way.

I’m still harassed at times. My reaction now is more likely to meet him eye to eye and say loudly enough for others to hear: “NO. NOT OKAY!” while I point a rigid finger toward his face… if I’m feeling brave. Yet sometimes, I say nothing, and pretend to not have seen or heard. How to respond, if to respond, how to stay safe, to take back our power, to not risk further interaction, this is an ongoing, play-by-play consideration in our inner worlds, as women.

Each of us, as women, have our own stories of experiencing inappropriate and offensive behavior from men. I don’t think any of us have been exempt from sexual harassment of one kind or another. Four out of four.

When does it end? How does it end? I don’t have the answers to those questions. But I know one thing. The more we talk about it, the more light we shed on these shadowy realities, the more we call out and demand accountability of men, demand to be treated with respect, refuse to tolerate these behaviors any longer, the more we say “NO. NOT OKAY!” the safer we become. The mightier we become.

We’ve played nice-girl long enough. We’ve been ladylike long enough. It’s time we said  “NO. NOT OKAY!”

And when the situation calls for it, like my friend Jennie, we need to make people uncomfortable with our rage. 

We need more men to join us, to say “NO. NOT OKAY!” along with us. I see it happening, and it gives me hope.

I have hope, for our daughters, and our granddaughters.

Maybe someday sexual harassment and abuse will not be a universal part of the female experience. Or am I only dreaming? I know this much. Being a woman does not equate being subject to harassment as part of life. We must stop normalizing this. We must say NO, NOT OKAY. And mean it.

 

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

 

Rise and Shine

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Yesterday was a dark day, for millions of us. Many of us stayed up the night before watching the dreadful reality happen, electoral vote by electoral vote, state by state. Around one in the morning, I finally gave in to exhaustion and went to bed, overcome with dread, but holding onto hope.  The next morning, I woke at 5:30 am to check the results, in case it had all been a bad dream. It wasn’t.

I know that there are some of you reading this that voted for Trump, and I want you to know love you. I still love you. I’ll keep loving you. I am grateful for you, because I know you are good. I know you have a heart full of love, and I know you want many of the same things for our country, for our families, for our future that I do. We are more alike than we are different, and I thank you for your presence in my life, to remind me that we are in this together. In a climate of “sides” where each so easily villianizes the other, I am looking for our common ground, because of you, because I love you. And I trust love. So thank you.

I told a friend last night the title of this chapter is “who knows?!?” None of us knows how this will play out. None of us can predict what’s ahead. We can choose fear. We can choose worry, more division, more finger pointing, blaming, hating, or we can choose to connect, to unite, we can choose to love. I can’t choose for you. I  can only choose my actions. My thoughts. My responses. You get to choose yours.

I am writing this for those of you who may be feeling, like I was yesterday…

  • Hopeless
  • Terrified
  • Distraught
  • Worried
  • Disappointed
  • Betrayed
  • Angry
  • Sad
  • Despondent
  • Traumatized

There are millions of us. All sharing many of these same feelings as we move into the reality of Trump as President. I was there yesterday. But I cannot live there. I was worried yesterday about my inability to feel hope. I couldn’t access it. But I trusted its return. I don’t know how to live without it. And today, with the rising sun, my hope returned. What about you? Where are you today?

Feel your feelings. Allow them space. Grieve. Rage. Cry. Let those feelings move through you. They want to move through you.

And then, rise.

Rise and shine.

Because here’s the truth: No matter what side you are on, there is only one real side. Humanity. We’re all in it. And humanity needs your light more than ever, right now. The world needs you to stop playing small.

Those of us who voted for Hillary may have lost the election, but we are NOT defeated.

We are only growing stronger. We are only bolder, fiercer.

Our commitments are solidifying, our resolve fortifying, we will protect these rights we have fought so hard for. We will protect each other.

We can no longer play small. We must no longer diminish ourselves. We will no longer dim our light.

So cry your tears and feel your grief, and then, after you’ve cried, and raged, and vented, I implore you. Rise. Rise with me. Shine with me.

Commit with me to never, ever play a smaller part than the role you were cast for. You were cast for greatness. No more smallness. No more bit parts in your own life’s script. You are here to play the starring role in your life. We must not live our lives in fear. We must not let fear win.

We must rise.

We must shine.

The world is watching.  Our children are watching. Our country needs us to rise and shine. We cannot stay down.

Rise and shine.

The time is now.

This is what we came here for. This is not a dress rehearsal. It’s show time.

First we must rise. Rise up out of our defeat, rise up out of our despair, rise up out of our fear.

Then, we must shine. Shine like we have never shone before. Band together, shine like diamonds, shine like the sun, casting warmth, casting light, casting magic. We will use our voices. We will use our gifts. We will use our power. We will create. We will stand. We will not sit down. We are here for great, big things. The time is now.

Rise and shine.

Calling Bullshit on Our Confusion

Role-Clarity

“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.

 

 

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I can help you get clear. Schedule a complimentary coaching session with me and let’s cut through the confusion together.

My Luck is No Accident: Wanna Get Lucky, Too?

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I’ve considered myself a lucky girl for many, many years, and I’m not ashamed to declare it. Great things happen to me. Call it coincidence, synchronicity, serendipity, happenstance, magic, charm, or just plain luck, I am a magnet for awesome situations, chance meetings that turn into big breaks, and unexpected blessings that seem to happen on a daily basis.

I was reminded of this the other day, marveling over a recent blessing with my awesome fiancé, Matt… “Can you believe this opportunity just fell on my lap?”

“I hear you say that a lot.” He answered. He’s right. But am I lucky? Or are my choices, thoughts and desires simply aligning because of the practices and philosophies I embrace?

Here’s the real truth. It’s no accident I am one lucky lady. My luck is not random. And in spite of what my wandering ego sometimes wants to think, nor am I some special favorite child of the divine, at least not any more than anyone else is favored! (We’re all the favorites of the Divine, we are all “trust fund babies of the Universe!”)

We’ve all known a person who considers herself cursed. She is a magnet for bad luck. Accidents follow her. Mysterious ailments ail her. She can’t seem to catch a break. She knows it too, and makes sure everyone who comes in contact with her knows it with her. She was born under a bad sign.

What is the difference between her and me? I believe it really boils down to what we think we are, and how we do life.

Quite simply, we create our own luck, whether we consider it good luck or bad.

An interesting study was done, with five dollar bills. A five dollar bill was laid in the paths of people that fell into one of two groups, those who simply consider themselves lucky, and those who do not.  Each person had the same opportunity to find the same five dollar bill, right in front of them. Guess who more often found the five dollar bill?

You guessed right. The so-called Lucky Ones.

Hey, I know. Life is messy. Shit happens. If I wanted to document and record and focus on the crappy little things and sometimes bigger, crappier things that happen to me, I certainly could. My life, just like anyone else’s is a dance between great days and bad days. Some dreams come true. Some fizzle. Some days I radiate, some moments I am a little grey rain cloud, pouring cold rain on anyone in my path. Of course. But my focus- where I choose to put it- that is what determines the reality I experience.

There are certain things I do think are random. The fact that I happened to be born in a first world country to this life, with these privileges I’ve done absolutely nothing to create, like clean water to drink, a bounty of food and opportunity available to me, the loving family I was born to, that were able to provide for my needs.

However, I think that my current life, the experiences I’ve attracted, the reality I live in day to day is quite non-accidental. Non-coincidental. I create my luck.

We experience what we think. Our feelings and our thoughts create our reality. This is spiritual law. This is quantum physics. This is truth.

I’m reading this fun book called “Get Rich, Lucky Bitch” by Denise Duffield-Thomas. She talks about the four common traits of us so-called Lucky People. Do you do these things? If you do them more, I promise, you’ll get lucky!

And if you consider yourself to be unlucky, chances are, these four practices are missing from your life. See what shifts when you begin to pour your life force into these four practices…

  1. Lucky people maximize their chance opportunities.
  2. Lucky people listen to their lucky hunches.
  3. Lucky people expect good fortune.
  4. Lucky people turn their bad luck into good.

When I read this list, I realized this is the exact recipe for my luck. I do these things. And they work. So luck is not random chance at all, like some would like to believe.

You are a powerful magnet for luck. You are a designer of your own random experiences. Yes, that’s a paradox. Isn’t it a beautiful one?

What choice will you make to get lucky today?

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!

Own Your Story or It Will Own You

free-from-the-pastWe are composites of our stories. All that has happened to us, good and bad, are threads, woven into the fabric of who we are. Our strengths, our weaknesses, our gifts, our struggles all have our stories to thank for their existence, and when we can embrace and own our stories, they become testimonials for healing, for evolution.

Our battle scars become our medals of honor.

However, there is a huge difference between owning your stories and being owned by them. Let me explain.

For example, you may have been raised in a dysfunctional home. There may have been abuse. Addiction. You may have grown up frightened, unsafe. Your child’s heart may have been wounded. You may have had to fend for yourself, or devise strategies of protection to survive.

As you grow and mature, this story of growing up a wounded. frightened child becomes an important part of the fabric of who you are. Until it doesn’t work anymore. Until you are no longer being served by the tools and tricks you learned to get through life. Until the self-protection strategies begin to leave you isolated and unable to experience true intimacy. Until the methods of your survival become weapons of self-destruction.

When this happens, Life is calling you to create a different story. And if you accept the invitation, you can transmute the pain of your stories into your most precious assets.

You are where you are, you are who you are, because of your stories.

You cannot change the past. But you can change your relationship to it.

That is how you own your story.

But here’s where story owns you: If you are aware of characteristics or traits you have, or unhealthy patterns or limiting beliefs that are deeply rooted in the events of your past, and you continue to blame your story for the way your life is now, your story is owning you.

If your story is your justification for why you just can’t this or just aren’t able to do that, your story is owning you.

If your story has cemented you in a mindset that causes you continuous suffering, it’s time to bring a sledgehammer and bust your way out of that story, to transform the relationship you have to the story, so you can go about the business of living an amazing, beautiful life.

When you are ready to release the power your story has over the way things are now, you own your story.

When you can bless your story for the lessons and healing opportunities it has gifted you with, you own your story.

When you can say “I used to ____, but now I ___,” you own your story.

When you own your story, your relationship with the entire world changes.

You are no longer cemented. You are no longer bound. You can proudly advance your life from a healing, healthier place. You can bravely face your demons, to discover they are actually the most fragile, vulnerable parts of you, in need of deep love and radical acceptance.

When you own your story, Life opens up to embrace you, and says “Welcome home.”

Then, your victim story becomes a warrior’s tale.

Then, your shackles turn to dust around your ankles.

Then, others are enlightened and inspired by your redemption.

Then, you are truly free.

 

The Life-Affirming, Tantalizing, Divine Power of a Crush

16It’s ridiculously easy for me to develop a fast and furious crush. Especially in the springtime. I feel alive and new and it sure seems like life is flirting with me. And I let myself be seduced by the deliciousness life lures me with, to feel. To feel as much as possible.

For me, a crush comes on like a wildfire, usually unbidden and unexpected. It may be on someone in a coffee shop, a celebrity, a new song, a new band, a view from my window, a group of new friends, a new lovely spot to sit and think in, a smell, a color, a texture, a new season and its showy flirtations, the touch of my lover, my own amazing self, rediscovered. I allow the feeling to sweep me away, that feeling of being in myself deeply, yet outside of myself, at the same time.

This is powerful energy, the energy of a crush. It stirs me and shakes me and feels like an obsession, and I allow the obsession to take over, for a few minutes or hours or days, and soon, on its own healthy terms, it dissipates, like the light misty spring drizzle that starts out as a storm, like a spinning, dizzying carnival ride, that lets me off almost as quickly as it starts. It goes away quietly sometimes, suddenly at other times.

And in its wake, I am left feeling alive. Pulsing with reality. Fierce with the potential for passion.

A crush makes you electric, makes your blood move through your veins at rushing, palpable speeds, makes the world more vibrant and colorful, makes you more vibrant and colorful to the world.

This is good stuff!

So then why are we afraid of crushes? Are we afraid of losing control? Of making bad choices? Of getting so caught up in them, we risk losing what matters most? Are we afraid of slipping into something sinister, something confusing, something vulnerable?

At one time in my life, it wasn’t safe for me to develop crushes. I didn’t trust myself, probably because I wasn’t trustworthy. But as I’ve evolved and as my healing path continues to unfold, I’m learning and becoming who I truly am, and I’m becoming implicitly committed to myself, my relationship and my own whole and healed heart, I’m not afraid of myself anymore.

When you trust yourself implicitly, a crush is a safe and delicious way to enrich your experience of being alive, of being human.

When you have in place your own boundaries, when you know what you will allow to tickle your existence, and only tickle… when you know exactly who you want to be, and you trust and believe in yourself and your commitments, while also understanding the pure chemical reactions and delicious sensations indulging a crush invites you to experience, you can crush deeply and intensely, and risk nothing.

When you allow the intensity of emotions to spin you round and round, to turn you upside down, to shift your innards and tickle your skin, you get to feel some of the best stuff life has to offer.

Dopamine, endorphins, seratonin, oxytocin, all these wonderful, wondrous feel-good drugs and our own bodies are the pharmacy! We are designed for our own pleasure, and feeling these feelings pleases the divine!

What if “crushing” was designed by the divine to actually bring you closer to the godliness, the perfection, the divinity, that you are?

Living in restraint, avoiding feelings, avoiding the richness of head-over-heels crazy crush moments is possible. But yawn… so boring!

You are wired for the delectable joys and sensations and delights of a human being in love with the world! So pick your crush. Let it have its way with your body, with your feelings and sensastions, and the way you experience the world and the world experiences you. Let it run through you like a wild, roaring, crashing wave, while you keep your soul and mind and commitments in tact and in charge. It’s safe.

You’re safe.

So what will let yourself crush on?

 

 

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photo by dee hill, hamu by vivienne vermuth