what’s your motivation?

 

it is super easy for us to judge others based on the things we see them doing (or not)…
 
we often judge based on comparisons of what WE like and what is working or has worked for US…
 
things like:
 
+ how they care for themselves
+ their work ethic
+ their relationship to food or alcohol
+ how and whom they date
+ their sex life and choice of partner(s)
+ how much rest they get
+ how frequently they workout or meditate
+ how they manage or cope with their stress
 
many of these things we are judging could be based on things THEY have said they were having issues with
 
we’re just trying to help
 
i get it
 
i’ve been on the side of wanting to help (fix) others + I’ve been the one doing the thing that others wanted to help (fix) me with
 
BUT
 
here’s what i’ve learned…
 
it’s less about WHAT one is doing and more about WHY they are doing it
 
+ i’ve not taken care of myself out of fear and over-serving for approval AND i’ve chosen to put me after someone else with intention because of a deadline and/or i knew i’d get to me later that day
 
+ i’ve worked HARD out of fear and a desire for approval AND i’ve worked hard for a deadline and from a place of intentional choice
 
+ i’ve eaten food for comfort and to numb out how i was feeling AND i’ve had the same food because i wanted it and it brought me pleasure
 
+ i’ve drank because i wanted to enjoy a glass of wine or bourbon AND i’ve drank because i didn’t want to feel my feelings
 
+ i’ve dated for fear of being alone AND dated because i wanted to spend time exploring new people
 
+ i’ve had sex for approval and a desire to be loved because i was afraid i wasn’t enough AND i’ve had sex because i wanted to experience the pleasure
 
+ i’ve stayed up all night because i was scared of getting in trouble for not finishing what i started and out of fear of being abandoned if i wasn’t “good” AND i’ve chosen to stay up because i was geeked about what i was doing + creating
 
+ i’ve worked out from a place of hating my body AND i’ve worked out because i love my body + want to move and stretch her
 
+ i’ve hidden my stress for fear of not being loved and received + i’ve spoken up for attention AND i have expressed my needs to ask for support + i’ve used my voice to be real and make authentic, vulnerable connections
 
in my world
it’s never about the WHAT we are doing
it’s always about the WHY
 
i invite you to dig deeper
with yourself + others
what you find may surprise you…
 
 
xoxox

i don’t know

 

i don’t know

i know

it’s not cute

but it is

a hit

that feeds

the addiction

calms

the twitching

 

that beast within

is becoming extinct

she’s dying

and she’s afraid

so she rages

in her attempts

to cling

to life

she scratches

on occasion

i can smell her fear

 

i know

i no longer

need the sanctuary of that old story

i know

i no longer

need the high of your attention

i know

i no longer

need the protection of my pretending

i don’t know

 

because

the truth is

i do know

the truth

i’m done pretending

i am not

 

she needs me to know me

i get me

she needs me to own me

i got me

she needs me

it’s time

step-up mic-up pen-up speak-up show-up

visible

 

i know

i am

the truth 

i’d been acting 

like i’m not 

 

she is begging

pleading 

stop

pretending

faking

feigning

weakness

ignorance

stupidity

 

but that hit…

of attention

so addictive 

feels

so

very

good 

another hit…

inhale

hold it 

 

feel the 

love

as it courses through my brain

exhale slow

feel the

approval

settling in my veins

 

confirming

validating 

all the things 

i’d been contemplating 

my worthiness

my intelligence

my pretty

my polished

perfection 

good enough 

only is

if you 

please

tell me so 

 

 

my attachment to the entrapment

of my addiction

seductive on the surface

is but an illusion

the comfort is deception

for protection

i no longer need

 

i see me

i am safe

with me

i am safe

i got me

i am safe

 

anchored

supported

held

inside my truth

i can expose myself 

and allow 

you 

to see me

and your experience 

of me

has no power

to hurt me 

that power 

full in me 

is no longer

 

 

 

 

How To Be Empowered Now

 

Earlier today I heard my coach say, “If you really are committed to producing the kind of future that you want; don’t stand in judgment of the past that you didn’t want.  It doesn’t work that way.”

 

I remember the first time I was exposed to this idea.  It was 2016 and I was in the room at a week long coaching certification being held in Los Angeles.    I was pretty stuck in my attachment to my role as a victim in my past.  I grew up with alcoholism and abuse in the home and it impacted how I grew up.  I was sharing this with my coach and he asked, “Could you have left?”  I said an emphatic, “NO!  I was a child.”

 

What followed was one of the most profound things I’d heard and I’ll forever remember how hard it landed.  He said, “I’m not asking should you have left.  I’m asking could you have left?”

 

And the answer was yes.

I could have.

I could have walked out.  I had working legs and access to the door.

 

And me holding myself as a victim to my past with no options; holding onto myself as choice-less – was keeping me attached to that disempowering story.  Keeping me attached to the pain.  Unable to do anything about it.

 

I had created an energetic string between me in the present and my place in my disempowered story of my past.

 

And from that attached place, there was no way I could be empowered in the moment, let alone in the future.

 

While I believe each individual and every situation is personal, at a high-level, I also believe that our ability to be empowered in the future breaks down into 2 main categories:

 

1.  Own that you made a choice.

You have to own that you made a choice.  There is empowerment embedded in the ownership.  We all make the best choices we can in the moment that we make them.  We decide to do, not to do, go, not to go, enter into relationship or conversation… we decide all of these things coming from our highest level of awareness at the time.

If we knew better, we’d do better.  You have to recognize that you didn’t have access to how things would turn out in the future when you made the choice you did; so it’s actually unfair to judge yourself based on the results you didn’t know you’d get.

Earlier today a friend of mine posted Maya Angelou’s famous quote on his Facebook page…

“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”

 

My comment on his post leads directly into the second step to empowerment….

 

2.  Stop beating yourself up about said choice.

It is what it is.  Period.  You decided.  You made a choice.  And remember, a “non-choice” is still a choice.  Own it, but please, please, please don’t hold judgment for yourself for what you did/said/experienced when you didn’t know better.

Acceptance doesn’t have to come with self-abuse.  Beating yourself up about it isn’t going to help.  At all.  And yet, so many of us are deeply raging against our own selves.  Calling ourselves dumb, worthless, failures, and a torrent of other obscenities that we’d never dare verbalize for fear that we’d be committed.

Once you’ve taken ownership, you’re free to make a new choice.

 

 

Here’s what we want to remember:

Our being at choice is empowering.
But, being a victim to the actions of others is easier.

Or as my coach, Sean Smith, says, “Blame is so much easier than responsibility.  But I’ve never known it to solve a person’s problems.”

Holding someone else to blame requires them to change for us to feel better.  And that may never happen.

If you want to be empowered NOW, you’ll want to own your choices.

At least as options.

Possibilities.

Because in possibility, there is hope.

Hope for your healing.

 

xo,

Michelle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

surrender

{surrender}
psst
you don’t need to add
you don’t need to become
anything
anyone
the “work” is surrender
letting go
releasing your death grip
your clingy grasp
on all that is not love and light
but i get how you think you need it
control
i believed i couldn’t survive without it
control
41 years
you couldn’t convince me otherwise
i’m not trying to convince you now
hold on as long as it serves you
and it serves
and hold on long after it doesn’t
if you want
it served me for years
and i held on long after
i couldn’t trust
so i had to control
when you become aware
you will have a choice
to hold
to tighten
or to let go
and if you choose
surrender
you will fall
and that can be scary
or exhilarating
perspective
but my commitment
is to create
is to hold
loving space
for you
as you fall
i will wait
i will welcome your landing
home
 
xo

Insignificant: too small or unimportant to be worth consideration

I had this heavy, gnawing, nagging feeling last week.  It stayed with me for most of the day on Tuesday.
Okay, to be honest, I’m probably being a tad bit dramatic.
It wasn’t MOST of the day, but it was present.
It was weighing me down and I didn’t like how I was feeling.
It was at about 9:30pm that evening when I connected with the feeling.
I felt insignificant.
I N S I G N I F I C A N T
Ugh.
Frankly, I don’t like admitting that, but it’s real.
My coach says, “Use your language to prescribe your future, not describe your past.” <– Brilliant, right?
And yet, just one week ago I was totally stuck.
Bogged down in my story of my insignificance.
Does this ever happen to you?
One moment you’re “crushing it” and totally on purpose and then then next moment, well, not so much.
Do you feel like your mood and energy can swing?
Sometimes week to week, but sometimes day to day?
And then there are other days where you feel all over the place on a moment to moment basis?
If you said yes, you are not alone.
I can feel strong and empowered and totally badass and then in the next moment feel like I am never going to match up.
Never going to be enough.
After some journaling and deliberate writing, I had uncovered the catalyst.
I had clarity on where the insignificance was coming from.
I could see the truth of my actions.
Or more accurately, the truth of my INACTIONS.
I had accidentally stopped all self care.
Without realizing it, I’d abandoned all 1:1 connection time with me.
I had ceased scheduling any time for reflection or quiet time.
My boundaries were non-existant.
had been doing an awesome job at clearing time out in my day for meditation.
had been blocking out specific time to intentionally create and time to sit in a feedback-less environment.
had been taking baths in silence without my phone.
had been journaling.
had been doing yoga and pilates.
I had been riding my bike and singing.
had been playing.
I had been having dance parties with my dogs.
had been committed to myself and my self care.
was doing all of that.
Until about 3 weeks ago.
You know, when I got busy.
I headed to LA for a 5 day coaching certification.
I came home and received news that my father had a stroke.
I was “behind” on my work and “needed” to get caught up.
I was reacting to whatever issue was popping up in the moment.
Running around like a crazy person putting out fires.
Allowing my schedule to control me instead of creating a schedule that supports my life and happiness.
So, not so suddenly, in rolled the stories of overwhelm.
I told a friend that I felt like I was barely keeping my head above water.
Along with my disempowering stories of overwhelm, came the lies about how I’m not enough while simultaneously being too much.
I was pretty much sitting in a feeling of overall unworthiness.
Not so “all of a sudden”, these stories were my reality and all I could see was how I didn’t match up.
How I was failing.
And when I feel like that, I disconnect.
Fast.
I isolate.
I go inward.
Not for reflection, but to hide.
And then I want alcohol.
I feel like I “need” a drink.
You know, to relax.
I tell myself that I can’t relax and get centered without alcohol.
More lies.
I very quickly slide down the slippery slope.
It’s incredible how fast we can get there.
To that place.
I began crafting this story about how my busy-ness is a badge of honor.
How “I’m SOOOOOO busy..” {insert eye roll} and then I cling to that busyness as my excuse for why I’m not preforming.
Not recording videos.
Not emailing you.
Not editing my book.
Not emailing my prospective editor.
Not creating what I feel called to create.
Then in my downward spiral, I noticed something…
When I’m in this disempowered, “I’m so insignificant” place, I don’t TRULY celebrate others.
I can’t.
I don’t have the capacity to do so.
Sure, I can applaud and celebrate at a surface level, but it comes from an energetically weak and disempowered place.
Tuesday night I affirmed to a sister in my tribe, “You’re so great!”, but underneath that statement was the truth.. my truth..
It wasn’t “You’re so great.”  
It was “You’re so much better than me.”
And those 2 sentences are totally different.
So, what did I DO?
Awareness is awesome.
But, ACTION is the only thing that will move the needle.
Read on…
Side note: 
What follows are broad and over-arching tips from my personal experience.  If you want specifics for YOU, I encourage you to email me so we may set up a free consultation call.  True transformation will happen when you’ve got someone speaking specifically to YOU about YOUR issue and YOUR sabotage patterns.
Alrighty,

Here’s what I did:

1.  I admitted what was happening.

Instead of pretending, I was real with myself.  I owned my feeling and said out loud, “I feel insignificant and I’m hiding.”  

2.  I reached out for help.

I texted a trusted sister coach and I told her what I was experiencing emotionally.  That being said, I don’t encourage you text a friend who will wallow in your disempowering story with you.  Reach out to someone who is loving, but who will advocate for the highest version of you.  And, someone you trust.  Someone you feel safe being real with.  This could be an accountability partner, a therapist, or a coach.

3.  I journaled.

Deliberate writing is a concept I learned where we write out a question on the top of a page and write non-stop for 10-15 minutes.  Even if you cannot think of anything to say, you just keep writing.  Pen to paper.  For the entire time.  There may or may not be any solutions that come out of the journaling, but it definitely helps to do what a client of mine calls “word vomit”.  Get it out.  Out of YOU and onto the paper.  Feelings have got to be expressed if we want them to leave.  If they’re not expressed, they will stay stuck in you forever.  Emotions that we bury alive never, ever die.

4.  I unplugged.

I turned off the computer and turned off my cell phone.  I took a break and walked away from my desk.  It’s super helpful to remove yourself from the environment you’re in.  Go outside.  Change rooms.  Go for a drive or a walk.  Changing your environment can have an extremely powerful impact on transitioning your energy.

5.  I didn’t try to change how I was feeling.

I didn’t need to discuss it in great detail, but I allowed it to be there with me. Don’t rush rush this. If you’re experiencing anger, feel it until you’re done.  If you’re experiencing sadness, feel it until you’re done.  If you’re experiencing any emotion, let it be there.  Feel it so you may be free to feel something else when it passes.  Allow it to take the time it needs to pass.  You don’t need to discuss it and keep it alive AND you don’t need to pretend it’s not there.  Just be.

6. I drank some water, ate a good dinner, and went to bed.

In these moments it is VERY important to nourish your body.  Honor what it needs.  Water is always a good bet.  Lots of water.  It supports the releasing of the toxins in our bodies and hydration always feels good.

7.  I decided that what I was experiencing was a good thing.

Instead of beating myself up and judging the fact that I felt insignificant, I told a different story.  I decided this feeling must be here because I am growing. Stretching myself. I chose to believe that it was good that I had this experience so that I could become aware of what SIGNIFICANCE feels like.  The truth is, we need contrast.  Plus, it inspired me to write this blog post!  Winner.
What if you just decided that everything that was happening to you was working for your highest good?  All of it?
What if you just decided to be curious instead of judgemental?
What if you just decidied to stop beating yourself up for being “here” again and recognized that you’re not “there again” you’re HERE NOW?
What if you went to the mirror and told the chick in the reflection that you are proud of her?  That you see her and you love her?
Then what would happen?
What could happen?
What could change?
What if you’d BEEN doing that for the past year?
Where would you be now?
Me?  I coached a client this morning around creating a self care checklist.  Things she can do to love on herself.  I’m doing the same thing.  Creating a list that I can reference and choose from everyday to remind myself that I’m important.  Becasue the insignificant conversation?  That was my way of telling myself that I needed some attention.  Not from anyone else.  From me.
I’m the one I was waiting for.
And the same is true for you.
xo,
Michelle

I quit.

 

I recently read an article by Erika Bruhn.  She says, “The truth is, quitting isn’t really giving up. Maybe, when you look further, the words “I quit” could really reflect a person’s self-awareness, mindfulness, and emotional intelligence. What if we, as friends, family, and colleagues, looked at the act of quitting as empowered, one that creates space for self-reflection, dreaming, and appreciation for what no longer serves someone? Could the prospect of saying those two words inspire a healthier path?  To quit might just be a lean into what is possible and hello to your next healthy step.”

 

This topic has been on my heart for the past few weeks.  I mean, intellectually, I “get it”.  To me, it’s sort of like a spring cleaning of my soul.  My commitment to you, my tribe, is to assess the HOW.

 

That’s what you want to know, right?  I mean, if I were you {and I am!} it is absolutely what I’d want to know.

 

In an anxious and high-strung tone I’d probably say something like, “It sounds great Michelle, but what are the exact steps????????????  If you can tell me, I can and will make it happen.  What’s the ‘right’ way to quit?”  

Here’s how my high-functioning, super-detailed, over-achiever, highly intellectual, perfectionistic brain works:

I want to know…

  • EXACTLY HOW do I do this?
  • What are the EXACT steps I NEED to follow?
  • EXACTLY HOW do I quit?
  • HOW do I figure out EXACTLY what to quit?
  • HOW EXACTLY do I deal with the reactions/responses from those things and people I do quit?
  • Please just tell me EXACTLY HOW to do alllllllllll of it!?!?
  • In fact, why don’t you just tell me what to quit and I’ll do that…

 

On the off chance that you are anything like the me I used to be and the me I sometimes still be, I invite you to read on.

 

But first, take a breath.  {Inhale and exhale through your nose}

And another.  {Inhale and exhale through your nose}

And one more.

But this time make it bigger.

Deeper.

Really breathe.

 

 

Okay, here’s the honest truth, I don’t have all the answers.

BUT WAIT!!!!!!

I’m committed to working through it.  I’m committed to asking questions.  Better questions.  I’m committed to sharing what’s working for me and what’s not.  I’m committed to guiding while I travel and sharing along the way.

With that being said….

 

1.  Get clear on what it actually means to quit.

Quitting has multiple definitions.  Here are a few:

To stop, cease, or discontinue

To give up or resign; let go; relinquish

To free or rid oneself

 

Choose the definition that feels the best to you and add on one {or more} of the following:

… spending time with or on any person, situation, environment, or thing that I actually don’t care about.

… from any person, situation, environment, or thing that depletes my joy.

… any person, situation, environment, or thing that I don’t enjoy or even like.

From this new space, quitting actually becomes imperative to your success, happiness, and overall fulfillment.

2.  Get detailed, specific awareness on what you love and what you don’t love.

It may sound elementary, but make a list.

2 lists actually.

Inspired by both Mark Manson and Sarah Knight and their work in this conversation, I started writing down what I love and what I don’t love.  Things I give a f*ck about and things I simply don’t.  It sounds easy, but from my research, very few of us actually take the time to gain this detailed clarity.

And it’s imperative that you do this before moving to the next step….

 

3.  Stop giving your f*cks to the things you don’t love.

Say what?!

Yup.

We tend to waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy overcomplicate things.

You want the simple solution?

Stop doing sh*t you hate.

Why are you spending any of your time, energy, and effort on things, circumstances, and people that don’t even have the capacity to bring you the joy you’re craving?

If you don’t care about it, if it doesn’t bring you joy, if you’re drained energetically by it, if you hate it.. why are you spending your time there?

Obligation?

Who says?

Who says you HAVE to do a thing?

Can you find another way to make money?

Can you get help doing tasks you don’t enjoy?

Can you trade or barter services?

If you need to remain in a situation or circumstance for a bit longer, can you change your attitude about it?

Let me give you an example…

I realized that I don’t give a f*ck about the restaurant where I work.

WAIT.  Don’t judge.  Or you know what?  Go ahead and judge.

I genuinely don’t care.

You see, the truth is, I care about the guests I serve.  I care about the money I make from that service.  I care about many of the people I work with.   But I don’t care about the company.  It may sound harsh and at first I didn’t want to allow that to be true, but I don’t.  I don’t care.

And when I began to recognize the amount of time, energy, and emotional output I was pouring into a thing that I don’t love or care about I was stunned into silence.  I was mortified.  I was embarrassed at how frivously I was spending my precious f*cks.

And you know what was happening to me energetically?  I was irritated.  Annoyed.  In a bad mood.  Frustrated.  Unhappy.  No fun to work with and no fun to be around.  Why?  Because I was freely throwing my f*cks out and into an environment where I didn’t care.  {facepalm}

And as soon as I stopped?  Wow.  Immediately, I was happier and more fun to work with.  I had an ease and joy about my energy that was palpable.  I took better care of the guests.  I made more money.  I didn’t spend my whole shift fighting.

So.  Much.  Better.

 

 

 

So, it starts with understanding that winners DO quit.  They just quit the right things.

Next comes the clarity.  What do you enjoy?  What drains you?  What do you love?  What do you hate?  What do you REALLY give a f*ck about?

Finally, comes the choice.  Do MORE of what you LOVE and less of what drains you.  Do MORE of what you ENJOY and less of what you hate.  Stop spending your precious time, your mental, spiritual, physical energy, emotional energy, and limited number of f*cks on the things you don’t actually care about.

 

I get that it might not be an immediate switch, but if the things that you’re doing, the conversations you’re having, and the work you’re committed to don’t even have the CAPACITY to fulfill you, it might be time to start packing….

 

xo,

Michelle