your dreams are dying in the life you’re not living.

Desires.

For so long I pretended I was unworthy. Like I had to do more and be more to earn the right to want. Ugh. “Earn the right to want…”

The law had been written and I had declared, “I never was nor would I ever be enough.” I had crowned myself “unworthy” and so it was.

Eventually, I stopped wanting. It wasn’t safe. It was too risky.

My dreams and desires were trapped. Locked inside my soul, fighting to come out– to come alive. Longing to be spoken out loud into the Universe, fueled by the oxygen of my breath. But, I’d build a wall to keep them in.

And yet I stood there yelling about how I can’t dream and how I don’t know what I want, but the reality was, I’d built the wall to trap my desires. I put the padlock on the chains, I latched it closed, the lock was on MY side of the door, and I was the one person holding the only key.

And yet, I was angry and throwing a fit about how it wasn’t fair.

Like many of you, I was waiting. Telling myself, I’d express my desires if a few standards were met…

I had to know it was safe.

I needed “them” to prove they could be trusted with my desires.

And more than that? I needed to know for sure that what I wanted would come true before I dare speak anything out loud.

Can you relate?

Good luck with that.

You’re going to wait forever.

Why?

Because you’re requesting the impossible. You’re demanding an unknown prediction of the future so that you can ensure everything will work out the way you want it to and if and only if you get the guarantee will you then come back to the present and take action and speak your desires aloud.

Pretending you “don’t know” feels safer.

Pretending feels more comfortable than confronting the truth: Your desires and dreams are not safe with you.

How do I know? Because I wasn’t safe with me for years. I couldn’t trust myself so I hunted for my answers– sought out my dreams– in others. “You tell me what I should want,” I’d say.

My gluttonous consumption of information and my addiction to the intoxication– high off of the answers others gave me– had me waking up everyday with a pounding headache and a hangover from hell because the shots they poured and what I guzzled down didn’t have the capacity to satiate my soul’s real longing.

Things began to change for me when I admitted all of this to myself and recognized that the solutions I was getting were to the questions I was asking, but I wasn’t asking the right questions.

Friend, it is possible to live a life liberated. It is possible to dismantle and transform the lie you’re living disguised as a life you’re not living, extinguish your suffering, unlock the padlock, and release your soul.

xo

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Stuck to freedom in 3 steps

Have you heard the saying, “Proper preparation prevents piss poor performance”?
It makes sense, right?
Do your research and be prepared.
I get it.
But when you’re a (recovering) perfectionist, you change the PROPER to PERFECT.
And when you do that….

Well, PERFECT preparation doesn’t prevent, it actually LEADS to piss poor performance.
Or, even worse, no performance at all.

Allow me to explain.

When I was in college I was taking an improv class.  An EXTREMELY challenging class for a perfectionist like myself.  I was too tense and always trying too hard to “get it right”. Improv requires trust, confidence, and presence.  If you’re in your head the whole time {Raises hand}, you won’t be connected to the team, you’ll care too much about how you look, and the comedy won’t land.

I was awakened by an unexpected phone call the morning of my improv final.  A collect call from my boyfriend.  He was in jail and needed me to come get him.
Lovely.

I fled my dorm room in a frenzy, drove to bail him out, and raced back into town.  I arrived only minutes before my final.  I threw down my things and within moments we were in the middle of the room performing.  Truthfully, I only remember one thing about the final.  My personal feedback was extremely positive.  Not only did my group crush it, my teacher said that I had my best showing and commented that I should do whatever I did THAT morning moving forward.
Great.  {Rolls eyes}  
I need to bail my unstable boyfriend out of jail in order to “be in my body”.

Frankly, I don’t know that I really got the big lesson until a few weeks ago.

You see, that morning, I didn’t have time to practice.  I didn’t have time to over-think.  I didn’t have time to perfectly prepare.  I didn’t have time to do anything.

I simply had to be present and go for it.

I see this same thing showing up in my life right now.  It’s so much easier to remain in student mode.  Always believing that I need to learn more, study more, prepare more, and practice more before I will be perfect and officially ready to GO FOR IT.

Here’s what’s up for me right now:

  • I am certain that don’t have the perfect blog.  I mean, am I supposed to have pictures? Should I be writing more often?  How often?
  • I’m confident that my video setup is unprofessional.  I’m either sitting on the floor with my phone leaning against a vase, I’m standing with my phone balanced on a pile of books on my bookshelf, I’m shakily holding my phone “selfie-style”, or I’m outside on my patio and my “AV set up” is my cell resting on a plant stand.
  • I’m pretty sure I’m not actually “doing Instagram” right.  For example, what are stories?  I’m playing with them, but am I doing it wrong?  Do people really care about what I’m posting?  And how do people have SO MANY followers?!
  • I don’t have a website for my coaching business. Should I?  Do I “need” one?  If so, how do you even begin to set that up?
  • I don’t have my speaker pitch nailed down.  I’m just over here trying to talk to anyone who’ll listen.  What if I suck and people laugh and make fun of me?
  • I am still awkward when it comes to “closing the sale”.  I mean, I’m selling ME and the breakthrough I can facilitate.  Do you wanna discuss how THAT is bringing me nose to nose with all of my shit???

And, let me be extra real…

There is ABSOLUTELY a part of me that stresses about all of those things.  I’m concerned about not being perfect.  I can sometimes obsess about your potential judgements and how I’ll handle them and I’m afraid that I won’t handle them well.

That’s my truth.

What’s also true, is the fact that there is a part of me that is screaming to be seen. However, I have to be really quiet to hear her.  Her yells are muffled, almost as if they are coming from really, really far away.

She’s screaming, “HEY. F#%K PERFECT!!!!”
She’s screaming, “GIRL.  Get your message out!!!!”
She’s screaming, “JUST TRY!  It’s the only way you’re gonna get good.”
She’s screaming, “GET IN MOTION!  You’ll get better the more you practice.”
She’s screaming, “JUST DO YOUR BEST!  People don’t want perfect, they want REAL.”
She’s screaming, “DO THE DAMN THING!  You’re not going to really learn any of this by reading online articles and watching YouTube videos.”
She’s screaming, “CHILL OUT!  Nothing you’re doing has human lives at stake. YES.  The work you do has the ability to impact and shift and transform the planet, but no one is going to DIE because your IG story sucks.  Your imperfect blog, unprofessional videos, Instagram, website, and sales/marketing pitch aren’t THAT F#%KING SERIOUS!!!!!”

And, I hear her.  And, I notice that the more I listen, the louder she gets.

The real deal is:

  • I am more comfortable if I have time to rehearse and I don’t like it when I am unable to do so.
  • I’d prefer to know all of the answers to your possible questions before we even start our conversation.
  • I wish I could speak fluidly and not stutter or say umm when I talk.
  • I like it best when I look pretty and my hair and makeup are done to my standards.
  • I frequently doubt that you’re going to read what I write or listen to what I say and I wonder if you do, if you really connect with my message.
  • On that note, I wonder if my message is even relevant…
  • I desire to be different, but I get uncomfortable when I think about boldly standing out.
  • I would like it MUCH better if I could immediately propel myself to mastery level.  At all things I try.  I do not like not being good.
  • I get nervous thinking about dialing a cold lead call.
  • I freak out at the thought of sitting down with people who are deciding if I’m a “fit” and if they want to book me to speak.

What’s different for me now, is despite the fact that I am deeply feeling all of my worries, doubts, and fears, I am taking action.  And, you can too.  And, it’s not as hard as you are imagining it to be.

3 steps to shift from stuck to freedom:

Awareness

You have to become aware of the problem.  If you’re pretending that it doesn’t exist or that it’s not that big of a deal, you’re going to stay stuck.  This is your “come to Jesus” moment.  Look at your life.  What’s NOT working?  Are you struggling with the same things you were struggling with a year ago?  Are you perpetually unhappy in your relationship, business, body, or career?  What about your finances?  Are you ALWAYS broke?  Look at your reality… REALLY look… and without judgement, write down what’s going on.

 

Acceptance

Here’s your chance to own your shit.  The only way you can be the solution is if you’re the problem.  Stop playing the role of the victim and accept your responsibility in the creation of your current circumstances.  All of them.  This isn’t about resigning yourself and giving up.  This is about accepting your reality so that you can use it as a launching point for transformation.

 

Action

You have force yourself to take baby steps and then you have to celebrate each and every one you take.  I know you want to go from 0 to 10, (I do too!) but it’s completely unrealistic.  Get a coach and a mentor to help you create your PERSONALIZED game plan.  You’re an individual and you’re going to require individual support.  Figure out WHY you want the thing you say you want.  That WHY has got to be bigger than your fears because (spoiler alert!) your fears aren’t going anywhere.

 

Look, I’m not gonna tell you to stop trying so hard to be perfect.  I’m not gonna tell you to stop being nervous or freaked out or concerned about doing it wrong or messing up.  I’m not going to tell you stop any of that because in my experience, there’s no switch you can turn off.

What I want you to do, just for today, is act in spite of.  Go ahead and feel every single one of your worries, doubts, fears, AND …
Write anyway.
Post anyway.
Record the video anyway.
Speak your truth anyway.
Make the pitch anyway.
Go to the meeting anyway.
Dial the phone anyway.

I need you to know that there are people waiting for YOU.  There are people longing to experience YOUR unique gifts.  There are people waiting to learn what only YOU can to teach them.  There are people longing to hear YOUR message.

And those people, the ones waiting for YOU and longing for your message?

They don’t care if it’s perfect.
In fact, they hope it’s IMPEREFECT.
You wanna know how I know that?
Because I know they’re afraid of the same things you are.
And if YOU’RE perfect, that means they have to be perfect too, and the thought of that terrifies them.

I fully believe that if you are judging me for my imperfect blog, if you roll your eyes at my messy and unprofessional videos, and if you shake your head at my Instagram feed, I am not the coach, the speaker, or the teacher for you.
And, truth be told, I’m (mostly) good with that.

Either way, I’m patting myself on the back for acting in spite of.
It’s a big friggin’ deal.

I’m perfectly imperfect and finally proud of it.
Most days.

 

Image via thinkwealthmagazine.com