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

 

 

 

 

who are you?

 

my friend…

i wrote this long post on instagram earlier and i’ve spent many moments today questioning.  wondering if maybe the post would’ve been better received had i put it here in the blog. i hear myself silently judging…

maybe it’s too long for the gram.  who is reading all this anyway?  no one cares.  this probably isn’t what they want to see… is it?

jeez.  when i tell myself THAT bullshit, disempowering story there’s only one thing i want to do.

HIDE.

i hear my old inner voice yelling, “retreat!  abort mission!”

the truth is, i am human and as a human, it’s super easy for my old stories to pop up.

i keep reminding myself of this truth while my brain contemplates taking the post down.

but i don’t.

why not?

because i’m experimenting.  i am playing with length, with language, with where and when and how i show up.  and there is no room for judgment in experiments.  just noticing.  then tweaking. then trying again.

plus, my gosh.  who can tell who sees what on social media anymore?!  there is so much out there that if you’re not intentional with deliberately searching for someone and their posts, well– you probably won’t see them.

so here’s what i shared earlier today:

{who am i}
I don’t know ⁣⁣
⁣⁣
You tell me ⁣⁣
I’ll be ⁣⁣
What you need ⁣⁣
Me to be ⁣⁣
To be ⁣⁣
Loved ⁣⁣
⁣⁣
I am ⁣⁣
Who I ⁣⁣
Pretend to be ⁣⁣
Scared to be ⁣⁣
The real me ⁣⁣
Safe ⁣
Under the mask ⁣⁣
I spent my whole life constructing ⁣⁣
⁣⁣
Getting to know ⁣⁣
The woman under ⁣⁣
Cover of protection ⁣⁣
Has been ⁣⁣
Messy⁣⁣
Has felt ⁣
Scary ⁣
I’ve felt ⁣
Angry ⁣
It’s been ⁣
Exquisite ⁣
⁣⁣
You’re in there ⁣⁣
You see ⁣
You’re just ⁣
Buried ⁣⁣
Beneath ⁣
Programmed  ⁣⁣
For protection ⁣⁣
Heart crying⁣⁣
For imperfection ⁣⁣
Soul dying ⁣⁣
For connection ⁣⁣

It is possible to unbecome ⁣⁣
Everything you’re not ⁣⁣
You can let⁣
The layers crumble ⁣
You can take ⁣
The mask off ⁣
You can allow ⁣
Everything you are ⁣⁣
To show ⁣⁣
To shine ⁣⁣
To glow ⁣⁣

Noooo⁣!!!!!!!!!!
They can’t know ⁣
They can’t see ⁣
Me exposed ⁣

⁣Please know⁣⁣
While this may feel scary ⁣⁣
The fear is only temporary ⁣⁣
The pain of pretending ⁣⁣
The weight of the mask ⁣⁣
The effort of the act ⁣⁣
Is slowly killing you ⁣⁣
Crushing your spirit ⁣⁣
Choking off your soul’s song ⁣
⁣⁣
You deserve ⁣
Life unleashed ⁣⁣
Freedom ⁣⁣
Happiness ⁣⁣
Love  ⁣⁣
Real love ⁣
Wild ⁣
Crazy ⁣
Unapologetic ⁣
Authentic ⁣
Deep love ⁣
From the inside out ⁣
⁣⁣
⁣My friend ⁣
You are love ⁣

⁣She is waiting ⁣
For you ⁣
Begging you ⁣
Please ⁣
Come home ⁣⁣

⁣Reunite⁣
With yourself ⁣⁣
By yourself ⁣⁣
Fall⁣
Into yourself ⁣⁣
Surrender ⁣
Trust ⁣
You’ve got you ⁣

for me?

the journey home has been truly magical, beautiful, and an incredible adventure– one i am still traveling.

writing my story has reminded me of so much pain i numbed out and avoided for so many years.

writing my story has also reconnected me to how much i’ve shed and unbecome over the past five years.

my deepest desire is to affirm hope.  wherever you are, whatever you’re going through– when you’re ready, you can heal.

 

you don’t have to pretend.  i promise.  and yet i know.

 

i remember how very alluring and seductive the mask can be and how positively scary the exposure can feel.  i know how terrifying visibility can feel and i know for many of us, our protection is rooted deep and has been for many, many, many years.

 

i don’t expect you to simply read this, rip the mask off, and show up as the real you all the time in every situation.  maybe that’ll be what happens, but if you’re like most of us, it’ll be a process.

 

your unbecoming will be a journey.

 

no matter how long it takes, you’re worth it.

no matter the effort required, you’re worthy.

 

and i’ll tell you what– it’ll probably take a lot less effort and energy and time than you think.

 

if there is anything at all i can do to help support you in the shedding of your layers i hope you’ll reach out.

 

you my sweet friend, you are not alone.

 

 

xo

 

It’s fine. I’m fine.

 

 

When you move to make a change in your life, your unconscious mind will resist.

“Nope.  We are not doing THAT.

She may lash out or rage.

She will dig her heels in.

She will scream.

“This doesn’t feel good!!!! I don’t like this at all!”

She does not, I repeat, does not want to change.

 

This feeling of massive resistance is natural.

It is totally normal.

It is all part of the process of change.

Resistance is embedded in the pavement leading to your dreams. The ONLY way to avoid the resistance is to step off the pavement.

 

Please don’t do that.

Please don’t quit on your dreams.

Most of us, upon feeling the resistance, will judge it as bad.

We’ll say that it’s wrong and assess that it shouldn’t be happening.

 

 

We’ll ask, “How do I stop this and how do I stop it right now????!!!!!!!”

So, we slam on the brakes.

We come to a screeching halt.

We allow our brain to convince us we are “fine”.

We allow our intellect talk us out of our dreams.

My coach implores, “Don’t let your mind convince your heart it’s happy when it’s not.” 

Here’s my invitation:  

Stay.

If you’re committed to doing the work to transform your life and live your dreams, there are going to be times where you feel uncomfortable.

Stay.

You will want to run away.

Stay. 

You might hear, “Psst.  Hide.  Bury it.”

Stay.  

You will feel the temptation to cover up.  You may want to mask with the pretty, polished perfection of “fine” and “good”.

Stay. 

Feel it. Feel all of it.  Feel the temptations.  Feel the resistance.

Sit in your uncomfortableness.  Let it wash over you.  Rub it on your skin.  Let it dry and cake so it may crumble away.

Feel it and stay in it.

Lean in.

And know that sometimes it will feel hard to lean.  I get it.  I’m not saying it’ll be easy.

I am saying, sometimes it will feel hard and I want you to choose to lean in anyway.  Stay anyway.

Change requires we do something new.  Getting out of our comfort zone calls for us to leave our comfort zone; this will require we get uncomfortable.

The uncomfortable feeling?  It’s normal.

You’re doing it right.

Don’t allow your brain to convince you to settle.

Don’t succumb to her lies.

For YEARS I said, “It’s okay. Whatever. It’s fine. I’m fine.” 

 

My growth required me to lift up the mask of perfection and ask myself the tough question:  Are you REALLY “fine”?

And the truth?  I wasn’t f–ing fine.

I’d just gotten used to things.  And that isn’t the same as “fine”.

 

Wanting to smack down the mirror as it’s being held up for you to look in is totally normal.

Want to smack it down and then stay.

It’s not going to be as hard as your brain is trying to convince you it will be.

It’s not going to be as painful as your mind will tell you it will be.

If your unconscious mind is anything like mine, she is a drama queen and a master catastrophizer.

Friends, consider this…

What if your freedom is right there…

So close you could practically touch it…

What if the heat you’re feeling means you’re near…

What if the yelling is loud because you’re so close to your freedom…

What if your doubts are the sign that you’re going in the RIGHT direction…

And you walk away?

 

 

Please don’t give up on yourself and your dreams as you cling to your lie about being fine.

 

 

 

It is absolutely okay to be okay.

But please don’t lie.

You cannot and will not heal what you refuse to look at.

Please let me know how I can best be of support.

You’re worthy.

She’s worth it.

 

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

How to go about reinventing the YOU that people know ….

 

Awhile ago I shared the following on Facebook:

 

 

Listen.

It’s NEVER too late to begin again…
To try something new…
To walk away from your current reality and boldly step into the unknown… 
It might be scary, but it’s NEVER too late.

You can create, recreate, write, scribble out, and rewrite your life as many times as you want.

Do not let anyone who gave up on what’s possible for them tell you what you can or cannot do.

 

BUT HOWWWWWWW??????????????” 

 

What follows are my thoughts on how to go about reinventing the YOU that people know and are “used to” interacting with.

 

1. Decide what you want and what feels in alignment for you NOW.

Now.

Meaning this moment.

What do you want?

Who do you want to be?

How do you want to show up in the world?

What’s important to you?

What lights you up?

What brings you joy?

What makes you laugh?

What are you doing when you lose all track of time?

What are you talking about when the conversations can go on for hours?

 

I hereby give you permission to have your answers be totally different than what excited you a year ago or last month or yesterday or even earlier today.

I hereby give you permission to choose what YOU want and not what anyone else (including your intimate partner or mom or dad or religious leader or boss) has told you you should want.

I hereby give you permission to evolve into a new person by unbecoming all that you’re not.  I shared an image on Instagram that sums this up perfectly, “Just because you used to be doesn’t mean you have to be.” 

 

But.

If you’re experiencing resistance, I get it.

I used to be super concerned with what other people thought I “should” write about or “should” speak about or “should” do videos about or even what I “should” post or not post on social media.

So, yeah.  I’ve definitely been there.

Until now.

Now?

Well, I care deeply for others, but I no longer give a f*ck.

I am unleashed and I will no longer hold myself back.

I will no longer allow myself to be chained by the expectations of what others think is best for me or what they believe I should or should not be doing.

In fact, I recently recorded a video on this exact topic.  Message me if you haven’t seen it and want to.  

So, again…

You are allowed to reinvent yourself.

 

And if you have NO CLUE what you want or what brings you joy, I invite you to set up a free consultation call with a coach.  Personally, I’d be more than willing to support you in the process of tapping into your deep desires.

 

2.  Be patient with yourself.  It’s okay if you’re not quite ready yet.

It can be super easy to get frustrated in the interim.

The space between.

Stepping into the unknown has the potential to be frightening to our brains.  The truth is, we like comfort.

We like comfort even if that comfort is painful or miserable.

Have you ever heard the phrase, “The devil you know is better than the one you don’t”?

While it may LOGICALLY sound absurd, I want you to know that to your subconscious mind, known misery feels way better than the unknown POSSIBILITY of joy.

I get it.

I’ve been in that place.

To be honest, I have personally taken as long a a year to fully embody a decision and step forward into taking action on that decision.

I’m not saying you HAVE to take that long, but if you do, it’s okay.

It’s okay because it is.

Your journey is personal and beating yourself up as you walk it out won’t speed it up.

 

 

3.  Recognize that sometimes it’s best to stay quiet and when you’re ready, give notice.

In the space of uncertainty it’s easy to find yourself being influenced by the opinions of others.

If you’re uncertain, keep your mouth shut.

Sit still.

Meditate.

Check in with your heart and listen for the answers.

YOUR answers.

Sorting through the cacophony of the masses to find your own voice can be practically impossible and at best, it is a tedious and draining process.

It’s much easier to simply NOT invite them into the conversation in the first place.

I remember when I was debating chopping off my hair…

I made a conscious decision to not tell anyone because I didn’t want to hear what they had to say.  I wanted to be clear on what Michelle wanted before I invited anyone else into the conversation.

And once I was grounded in what I wanted, well, it became very easy to do what Lisa Nichols says, “Stop asking for permission.  Give the world notice.”

 

 

4.  Be willing to let go of the “old you” and her BS stories.

Oftentimes a part of you has to die.

Not literally, but figuratively.

The “old you” cannot contain the purpose of the “new you”.

She has to evolve.

To put it another way, if you want to change you are going to have to change.

You have to be willing to release old habits and behaviors that are no longer serving you.

It now becomes a choice of what’s most important.

Now.

Here’s what I KNOW to be true:

When the pain of change becomes less than the pain of staying the same, you will change.  And not one single second sooner.

 

 

5.  Other people may be triggered by your decision.  This isn’t your problem.

Be clear.

When you decide to make a change, it MAY trigger others.

Your courage will potentially highlight the fear and inaction of those around you.

People may not like the “new you”.

They may not embrace your choosing YOU.

They may not like who you’ve decided to become.

They may not be comfortable with who you no longer are.

None of this is your problem.

Marianne Williamson said it best, “Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.”

Again.

Care deeply.  And, don’t give a f*ck.

 

6.  Be willing to shift your “sunk cost” mentality.  Your investment of time or money is in the past.

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been the “old you”?

It doesn’t matter how much time or money or energy you’ve spent doing what you “used to” do.

If you’re over it

If you’re done with the situation

Be willing to walk away.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve been in your relationship for 20 years.

Or if you’ve invested $100,000.00.

Or if it’s what you got your degree in.

Or if you’ve been with the same company for your whole career.

Or if it’s your family business.

Or if you’ve showed up “this way” for your entire life.

The fact that you’ve invested time or money or energy in something for so long is NOT a reason to stay with someone or something that creates misery in you or no longer is in alignment with who you are.

Before I cut my hair off, my one and only reason for not doing so was because of how long it took me to grow it out.

When I realized that, I made the appointment.

Maya Angelou said it perfectly, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” 

 

 

Be willing to make a new choice.

I want to invite you choose YOU.

I promise that as you serve the needs and desires of your soul, the flames in the lives of others will be ignited.

I’ve seen it personally.

I’ve experienced it personally.

I KNOW it to be truth.

Your happiness and needs are JUST AS IMPORTANT as the happiness and needs of those around you.  And if that sentence creates any sort of irritation internally or brings up immediate resistance, please message me.  I’d love to chat with you.

 

It’s never too late to begin again.

I truly hope you boldly reinvent yourself as many times as necessary.

Have fun with it!

Play until you land with what resonates.

You’ll know it when you arrive there.

But in the meantime

the interim…

enjoy your journey!

 

xo,

Michelle

 

 

 

When you don’t feel “merry” or “bright”…

 

 

I wasn’t in the mood for Christmas.  I simply was not feeling “merry” or “bright” this season.

 

I spent the morning of Christmas Eve sitting in my car with tears streaming down my face, feeling a sadness and a loss and a heaviness on my heart.  It felt different than I’ve felt before and I was worried about myself.  Was I depressed?  I’d been kind of down for the couple days prior and it seemed to be getting worse.

 

To be fully transparent, there were a few external factors that could have contributed to my mood:

  1. We didn’t decorate.
  2. We didn’t buy presents.
  3. We weren’t with family.

However, all of those were deliberate and intentional choices.

We closed on our first home just 3 days after Christmas and we had a lot happening this year.

SO…

  1.  Frankly, the thought of decorating was unappealing.
  2. Our monies were on lock-down due to the closing and any presents we were giving and getting were going to be after we closed and for our new home.
  3. Traveling to Ohio or Michigan or Maryland to be with family didn’t feel like the best choice this year and it wasn’t financially intelligent.

BUT…

With the exception of closing on the house, none of that stuff was “new” for us.

  1.  There have been years past where I wasn’t in the mood to decorate.
  2. There have been a few times over the years where we’ve been down and out financially and were unable to afford gifts.
  3. With family so spread out and jobs in the restaurant industry, there have been many, many years where we’ve not been with family during the holiday.

HOWEVER…

Despite all of the hiccups in the past, we’ve always had our traditions.  We bake cookies and make hot cocoa and drive around looking at neighborhood Christmas lights.  I make cinnamon rolls for breakfast and we talk to family.  We cook dinner, we have drinks, play games, and watch Christmas movies all day.

But this year I didn’t want to do any of it.

Not a single thing.

I just wanted to stay in bed, snuggled under the covers with my pups.

I felt super lonely and simultaneously wanted to be left alone.

 

I felt this emotional sadness until December 26th.  By late afternoon that day I felt better.  I could tell because there was a tangible shift in my energy.

So, while I know we’re now past Christmas and into the new year, I want to share what I did over those few days.

You see, life will deliver you many opportunities to feel overwhelmed and to feel pressured with expectations on how you’re “supposed to” feel.  There will probably be times where you’ll experience sadness, be in “a mood”, feel anxious, or simply find yourself in an unexplainable funk, and if you do, I want you to know there’s hope.

 

1.  I let a couple of people see the “real me”.

 

I allowed myself to been seen in my sadness by a few people I trusted and I knew would hold the space for me to just be.  I texted a friend and told her what was really going on with me.  I told another friend what I felt sad about and allowed myself to be vulnerable and honest with her when she came by work to wish me a Merry Christmas.

When you’re feeling down, it’s important that you don’t hide.  This part of you isn’t “bad”.  It doesn’t deserve to be shunned and punished.  It needs to be loved on and nurtured.

Start by giving that to yourself.  Give yourself permission to feel how you feel.  Tell yourself it’s okay, look in the mirror and say “I love you”, and take your right arm to your left shoulder and your left arm to your right shoulder and squeeze.

Next, find a safe space where you can be seen in your perfectly imperfect, messy, snot-nosed glory.  This might be with your Mom or Dad, a friend, a coach, a mentor, or an accountability partner.  You’re simply looking for a place or a moment in time where you can be who you really are and feel what you’re really feeling.  Oftentimes, you don’t need a discussion.  You simply need someone to know what’s really going on with you.  Another soul with whom you can share your authentic truth.

I am learning that part of emotional intelligence is recognizing that certain situations (my job) do call for me to “pull it together” because my emotional meltdown isn’t their problem, but that doesn’t mean I can’t tell a friend that I’m sad.

 

2.  I didn’t pretend to be happy.  

 

I didn’t put on a “happy face”.  I didn’t “fake it ’til I made it”.  When you’re in this space, I invite you to try and get neutral instead of trying to be happy.  Maybe you’re currently over in Funk-Town.  Please do not try to get to I’m-Super-Cheery-Ville.  In my opinion, it’s waaaaaay too far to travel.  When people ask how you are, you don’t have to say, “I’m awesome!” You can say, “I’m okay.”

There’s a balance between wallowing and complaining (something I do NOT recommend) and just being present with what is.  Oftentimes when we hide what’s real for us it comes from a place of feeling shame, guilt, or embarrassment.  We tell ourselves that we shouldn’t feel this way, that other people have their own problems, and that they don’t need to be “bothered” by us and our feelings.

Who you are and what you’re feeling is no bother.

Who you are and what you’re feeling is exquisite.

 

3.  I cried.

 

You’ve got to express yourself.  Cry, hit a pillow, throw a kicking and screaming tantrum, go to an arcade and throw or shoot something, journal, go for a run, take a kickboxing class, or do whatever else feels honoring to your soul.

Emotions are meant to be felt so they can be released.  No holding back here.  Personally, I cried.  Then I cried again.  Then again.  That’s what felt right to me.  There’s no right or wrong answer here.  You simply want to get the emotions moving.  Trust me, they don’t want to be lodged in your body anymore than you want them there.

 

4.  I rested.

 

When all else fails, take a nap.  Sometimes the only thing to do is close your eyes and catch some zzz’s.  It can often act as a pattern interrupt for the funk.  I’ve found that feeling sad is exhausting and sometimes the tired amplifies my sadness which leads to overwhelm and … {cue vicious cycle}.

You’re allowed to take a nap.

You’re allowed to get a full night of sleep.

You’re allowed to take care of you.

 

 

 

This wasn’t my first funk.  It won’t be my last.  What’s important is that we remember, “Feelings are just visitors, let them come and go.” We don’t have to attach a story about what they mean or what they’re saying about who we are.  We can just sit with them as they move through us.

 

What are the things that YOU do when you find yourself in one of these funks?  I’d love to hear from you!  Please share any questions or comments below.

Wishing you presence in this new year.

xo,

Michelle