It’s real easy for me to seek outside myself for the answers.
What should I wear?
What should I say?
What books should I read?
What should I eat?
What course should I take?
Who should I follow?
What should I study?
Who should I trust?
My questions all some version of “What’s the right thing to do?”
One of my biggest drivers is to not be wrong.
In that state, I was at the mercy of everyone else while simultaneously reinforcing the (total BS, but very real) story that I can’t be trusted.
Here’s what I learned to do
Step 1 – I redefined “right”
For me, what’s “right” is what feels good for me at the moment.
My inner protector immediately said, “Absolutely not. We cannot trust ourselves with what feels good.” 👈🏻That’s part of our patriarchal programming.
I listened and acknowledged their fears. “You’re right. It is scary. And, it is going to be super fucking uncomfortable until it’s not and that’s okay. We’re going to be with it together. I’m going to be with you and we’re going to learn how to move with the discomfort and fear.”
And we did.
And we are.
Step 2 – Practice the ask
I ask myself + my body what she wants. Wants to eat, wants to wear, wants to read, wants to study, wants to do at this moment.
I ask her if and how she wants to move, when she wants to wake up, when she wants breaks, who she wants to work with and what she wants to do for fun.
Step 3 – I communicate with her + take action on her desires
Sometimes we take action right away and sometimes it’s later that day and sometimes we negotiate to a different day.
I practice trusting her by letting her lead.
And, sometimes I find myself wanting to ask someone if they think I should take a course or hire a coach or take a program or buy the book and in those moments, I smile and I pause.
I remind myself who I am and what I know and I seek an answer from the only person who knows what I want.
Now I DO believe in external support.
It’s important + necessary.
The support I invest in is support that helps ME tap into MY answers.
Why? Because I’m fucking brilliant about me.
Just like YOU are fucking brilliant about YOU and anyone who has told you differently (even if it’s you) is lying.
They are likely lying because they love you and are trying to keep you safe. And they are lying about you.
You can unlearn the stories.
You can heal your relationship with your reflection.
You can come safely home to who you really are.
If our needs are unmet as children, we can develop a belief that we are unworthy of being taken care of.
We create this belief because as small children, we think that everything happening in our environment is a reflection of us.
So if our needs are unmet, we make it mean that it’s happening because there is something wrong with us.
When I say “unmet needs”, that might have been your physical needs (things like healthcare, proper clothing, hunger, thirst, etc.) but it also applies to your emotional needs (things like safety, stability, security, unconditional love, acceptance, validation and affirmation of your belonging + worthiness).
Our brain is wired for survival and therefore if our needs are unmet, it will feel life-threatening.
Because we are incredibly resilient, when this happens, we tap into our creative problem-solving muscle.
We humans will do whatever we need to do in order to survive.
So if we feel unsafe, unlovable, unimportant, invalid and/or unworthy, we will figure out ways to get those things we desire, even if we have to manipulate ourselves or others in order to make it happen.
Again, we are creative + innovative like that.
I’ve been reflecting a lot recently and one of the biggest realizations + healings I have had has been around self-sacrifice labeled as “I am a good person in service to others”.
When that part of me was leading, I didn’t realize how much pressure I was putting on those that I claimed to love by NOT taking care of myself.
I didn’t realize that I had been functioning, stuck inside of a trauma response where I believed my safety was at risk.
I didn’t recognize that I had been unconsciously operating from the belief that my needs were invalid.
I couldn’t see that I was an adult who was being led by an inner child with unmet needs.
So I overworked, I pushed myself beyond my capacity, and I didn’t uphold my boundaries because this wounded part of me believed that I was unworthy, but thought if I were to do a good enough job taking care of everyone else, I might be taken care of.
The people that I loved the most were the most stressed out and worried about me as they watched me destroy myself + declare I was doing it for them.
The moment I recognized what was happening I began to shift.
The journey wasn’t always easy because there was a lot of healing that needed to happen, but what I know is that I was — I AM worth it.
So are you.
I’m worth the time it has taken + I’m worth the practice.
So are you.
We humans are programmed for survival so it makes sense that we will do whatever we can to ensure that survival.
And, I do not need to choose to live how I was conditioned.
Neither do you.
You can learn to neutrally observe what is happening.
You can learn to explore with curiosity and a desire to understand.
You can decide what you want to experience.
You can learn to take new actions.
You can learn to meet your own needs without blaming anyone else.
You can heal your relationship with your reflection.
I spent much of my life rushing to a finish line that didn’t exist + while missing the journey that did
I was working for my worthiness like it was a thing waiting for me at the end of my never-ending to do list
Earlier this year, my body let me know she was done tolerating what she’d been tolerating (amazingly well!) for so many years
She got sick
My diet had to be completely overhauled, I was in adrenal fatigue + I was realllllll close to walking myself right into an Autoimmune Disease
See, one of my programmed patterns is to fight — push though
If you’re like me, I know you get it
I learned this probably in a similar way you learned it…
By watching + listening to my parents, teachers, leaders + society in general preach the “Work Harder! Do More! Perform Better! Be Stronger! Win at all costs! There’s only ONE seat at the table!” battle cry
But the ones who sacrificed the most…
They never really won or got that seat because the game they were playing was unending – never over
But that didn’t stop me from trying to be the ONE – the winner they spoke about
☝🏻 F * * K T H A T
I could have killed myself and our “perform for your worthiness patriarchal culture” would have stepped right over my dead body + kept on moving
➡️ l needed to learn that I already had that seat I was hoping to earn
➡️ I needed to learn to choose me instead of waiting to be chosen by them
➡️ I needed to learn that getting things done was more important than me doing things
➡️ I needed to learn that collaboration is better than competition
➡️ I needed to learn that a table with only one seat is a table built on fear
➡️ I needed to learn that rest is as — if not more — important than work
➡️ I needed to learn how to slow down
➡️ I needed to learn that it could be safe to slow down + I needed to do the work to make it safe in my body
☝🏻 Those are practices
Those are practices I practice daily + they are practices I share with the entrepreneurial women I coach
Look, I get it
It’s hard to relax
You feel guilty + lazy because there’s so much you should be + could be doing
And even on those days where you do choose to take it easy you end up feeling worse than you did before you took the day off so you promise yourself you won’t do that again anytime soon
You tell yourself that you’ll rest after this thing is done or after you take care of this one more task, but there’s always one more task
You tell yourself + others that you’re at the bottom of your to do list when the truth is you’re not even on it
I know what you’re afraid of
👉🏻 You’re scared if you stop you won’t start up again
👉🏻 You don’t trust yourself or your body
👉🏻 You’re afraid of losing your edge
It makes sense
After all, this work ethic is why you’re so successful
(or maybe I’m the only one who thought those things + felt that way)
The truth is, my work HAS changed
No longer do I subscribe to the belief that hard work itself makes me intrinsically virtuous or worthy of reward <– as the definition of work ethic explains
That doesn’t mean I don’t work well – I do
Since making these personal transformations…
✅ I’m more productive
✅ I’m more focused
✅ I’m more creative
✅ I’m more inspired
✅ I’m more organized
✅ I’m more fluid
☝🏻 And that’s not all…
✅ I begin my days with me, not with work
✅ My sleep patterns + sleep schedule are more consistent
✅ I have created + upheld boundaries around my time + my calendar
✅ I say “No” without apologizing, guilt + self-shame
✅ I go on weekly dates with my wife
✅ I play with my puppies
✅ I go for walks
✅ I take breaks + naps
✅ I practice yoga
✅ I practice meditation
✅ I have created rituals I use throughout the day that allow me to remain in the present moment
✅ I’ve stopped multi-tasking (as much 😉)
✅ I am doing what I want to do
✅ My body is healthy
Friend, if you’ve got yourself convinced that your unrelenting discipline is serving you, I get it
For years you could not have convinced me otherwise + I have no interest in convincing you, but if you’re tired of feeling exhausted, tense, resentful, stressed out, anxious, secretly out of control while pretending to be in control, overwhelmed + in pain, comment below or send me an email
There’s another way
the cannibalistic cycle
of miserable determination
consumed by the me
i now be
still alive in me
the scathing, self-loathing
giving birth to the breath
finally willing to feel
allowing them to melt
all of the me
i spent my life
pretending to be
the pretty me
the polished me
the perfect me
i felt the burning heat
and stood there
taking my breath
in the me
i used to be
which is why
i used to be
𝘜𝘚𝘌𝘋 to not feel
of the heat
on my sensitive skin
the me i used to be
terrified of the inevitable
the fear inside
i used to be
grew into fascination
i found myself
by the burning
masochistic in my curiosity
wanting to step
in the me
i used to be
unable to take
until the moment
yearning for everything
i’d spent years protecting
for my fragile front
to be decimated
pulled into the magnetic flames
of my own vulnerable authenticity
ready to be reborn
while i don’t recall the moment i first heard haruki murakami’s quote, i distinctly remember the feeling in my body. my jaw clenched and my shoulders rolled back and tightened as i began to embody a fighting stance. i was under attack and preparing myself for battle. i was ready to defend my suffering. i was set to argue against anyone who would dare try to take my limitations away.
now, as i reflect on that version of me, i feel a sadness for her. but her aggressively defensive behavior makes sense to me.
when i was told my suffering was optional, i made it mean that it was a choice. and i didn’t want to hear that i was CHOOSING to suffer.
because that would mean i would no longer be able to blame my mom or my dad or my life or those people over there or this circumstance here or my finances or that one person from 15 years ago who called me fat or that teacher who wouldn’t help me or that guy that broke my heart or that girl who said those things mean things.
if my suffering was a choice, i’d have to stop saying it was “them” keeping me down and admit that it was me.
and friend, i didn’t like that one bit.
but, here’s the thing that’s important to understand if you want to live an empowered life– your experience is 100% within your control.
if we are suffering, it is our choice.
if you are suffering, it is your choice.
i was reading an article that described it like this: it is possible to experience pain and not suffer as much as it’s possible to suffer and not be in any physical pain.
to me, the suffering kicks in when we become emotionally entangled in our pain. when we take our pain and we attach who we are to that pain we will suffer. when we beat ourselves up (physically, mentally, or emotionally) for our pain, we will suffer. when we continue our self-abuse with guilt and shame, we will continue our suffering.
THESE are the things that are our choice.
the painful or traumatic or painful thing that happened? that’s not on you.
but, making that event(s) mean something negative about who you are, beating yourself up again and again for your perceived mistake(s), and torturing yourself with guilt and shame… friend, those things are your choice.
if you believe you’ve suffered enough, comment below or send me an email at email@example.com. i’d love to support you. and if you haven’t suffered enough, carry on. but, as you carry on, do it will full ownership that at this point, the suffering you’re experiencing is YOUR CHOICE.
blame is easier, but it’s never healed a hurting human. please don’t try to be the first.
support: give assistance to; to give encouragement to someone or something because you want him, her, or it to succeed; suggest the truth of.
friend, we’re not supposed to do this whole “life” thing alone.
but, if you’re anything like the me i used to be, asking for help can feel super hard to do. it sounds easy enough in theory, but in real life? practically impossible.
i felt like being able to do it alone was an achievement i should be striving for. and every time i fell short, it was one more thing to add to the long list of things i sucked at.
it was one more way i just couldn’t get it together…
one more thing to beat myself up about…
i remember feeling like i was weak and incapable if i “had” to ask for help. it was if i was saying, “i can’t do this alone.” and that made me a loser. at least that’s what my head talk was telling me.
but friend, we are NOT SUPPOSED TO do life alone. we’re best when we’re supported and we have peeps that have our back.
giving support and receiving support is human.
we are not robots and despite the amount of time we spend on our phones and computers, we require human connection.
i truly believe support can relieve both anxiety and depression. there is something so profoundly powerful about knowing we’re not alone.
and when it comes to achievement? to reaching your goals and dreams?
your human brain is not wired to bring the best out of yourself. your brain is designed with safety as it’s number one priority. “keep this human alive” is its commitment.
so, we need people. people who see what we’re capable of and who are willing to stand beside us while we unbecome everything we are not.
people who reflect our truth and who are brave enough to lovingly confront us on our bullshit stories.
so, let’s break this down.
there are 5 main ingredients to an incredible support system:
1. an accountability partner:
this is someone you’ll check in with on a daily basis who will help keep you on track with the activities you’ve committed to executing. there’s nothing like having a person expecting you to check in with them to motivate you to get a thing done!
2. a mastermind group:
this is a small group of people (ideally 4-7) who meet at a predetermined time. what i dig the most about a mastermind is you get to utilize the collective intelligence of the group. you can present ideas, struggles, projects, speeches, etc and benefit from the peer mentoring inside the group. for me, the ideal mastermind would have people from backgrounds unique to mine so i may gain perspectives i don’t currently have.
3. a personal coach:
you don’t have to be in an incredible amount of struggle or pain or trauma to need a coach. you CAN be, but it’s not a requirement. the best coaches help bring out the best in you. i heard my coach say at one point,
“the only people who need coaches are those who want to achieve their goals and dreams.”
4. a mentor:
a mentor is a person who is in your business or a similar industry who has done what you want to do and gone where you want to go. their role is to teach and offer guidance.
5. live events:
it is important that we get out of our normal routine for learning. there’s something that shifts when we’ve inconvenienced ourselves with the investment of time, energy, and money to travel and get in a room outside of our typical habits and routines. we’re telling our brain, “hey. pay attention. this thing here is important.” plus, we get the added benefit of connecting with likeminded people and their energy is contagious. in a live event, learning is magnified, deepened, and the ripple effect is tangible.
so, there you have it. the five main ingredients of a dope support system.
one of my clients recently asked, “do we need all 5 or will just a couple work?”
a couple would work.
AND, the more you have, the stronger your success team will be. and you my friend, YOU are worthy of a world class success team.
do you need support?
email me : firstname.lastname@example.org
the other day i posed the question, how do you “DO” self love?
i think many of us talk about it, but how many of us actually BE about it? what does it mean to DO it? to take ACTION?
i was chatting with a client last week and we spoke about how awareness is the first step, but the only thing that has the power to change anything in our lives is ACTION.
and yet, how many of us are stuck?
aware and stuck.
i have been pondering this conversation and contemplating how i can help.
what’s the catalyst to move from awareness into action?
i recalled that in the past, i have shared with my clients that a very simple way to begin the practice of self love is to think of someone or something that you love and write down 5 ways you treat them.
that list might look like:
i pay attention and really listen when they speak to me
i spend quality, uninterrupted time with them
i honor their needs
i respect their boundaries
i have fun with them and play with them
but this morning, i realized– this list– is the ideal way i’d treat them. it’s how i feel i should treat them.
and then i asked myself a hard question, is it what i DO?
and i’m a bit embarrassed to say, that with the specific person i was thinking of, my honest answer was, “nope.”
here’s how my list would look if we were evaluating my ACTIONS:
i put her after most other things
i am often distracted in our quality time
i am frequently tired when we’re together
i can be lazy and allow things to run on autopilot
i can be impatient and energetically demanding
if this is true, then me telling me to treat myself like someone i love means to put me after everything else, be distracted and not present, be lazy with my care, make thoughtless choices, run myself down, and hold high and unrealistic expectations and throw a fit when they go unmet.
that’s when i realized, THAT is actually the bigger conversation.
many of us will want to
redefine our relationship to LOVE
and, i hear you… HOOOOOWWWWWWWWW?????????
so, here’s my encouragement…
if this applies to you (and i know it won’t apply to everyone), don’t make your ideal list wrong.
i believe it’s your inner child speaking. celebrate that– celebrate her.
there is a divine feminine energy in you that longs to nurture and love and care for self and others.
allow that– allow her desires and longings to be exposed.
pick one thing from your list.
i know our precious human brain wants to go from not-love to love immediately and zip from a zero to a ten in 0.5 second flat and while all of that is cute, it is unrealistic and not at all sustainable.
so, if you’re committed to implementing actionable self-love, pick one thing.
and then practice.
practice toward others and practice toward self.
and reverse the order.
practice toward self and then practice toward them.
we cannot give what we do not possess.
i choose “i pay attention and really listen when they speak”.
so, from this place of choice, how can i pay attention and really listen when i speak?
for me, the first step is giving myself a voice.
i’ve begun pausing throughout the day and asking myself, “what do you want right now?” or “what do you need in this moment?” and then i’ve been listening.
if my back hurts and wants to lie down, i create space for that.
if my eyes are tired and want to rest, i let that be okay.
if my body is craving food, i feed her.
if my heart is longing for connection, i find ways to give that to her.
it’s not hard. but it does take practice.
and i’m worth it.
and so are you.
need tips that are specific to YOU and the unique individual you are? send me an email at email@example.com and lets set up a time to chat.
wants upon a time…
i took this picture four years ago
to the day
january 3rd, 2015
i remember this moment
i wanted to capture it
i was sad and pissed
in a good way
about my own self
i’d been working with a coach…
involved in personal development…
attending live events…
doing all of this for just over a year…
and in this moment…
standing in the kitchen in my condo…
i was done
acting like i was happy when i wasn’t
i was done
with the bullsh*t
with MY bullsh*t
allow me to be
i didn’t have the answers
i was struggling financially
i was unfulfilled
i was working in a career i no longer wanted to be in
i was uncertain of my purpose
i was unsure of my next moves
i had no clarity on the how or the what or any of the specifics
the first step
the one i think folks frequently forget about
the FIRST step
is the one where you get tired of your own bullsh*t
you get tired of hitting the wall you keep hitting
you get tired of the sexy stories (lies)
the lies you’re telling
about how you’re fine
you get tired
of being sick
you get tired
of being so tired
because it’s from THAT point
that point where you’re done
that point when you’re really ready to put down the struggle
it’s from that point
things can change
and by things
E V E R Y T H I N G
i didn’t know…
four months after i took this pic i’d invest in a coaching certification
i didn’t know…
one year after that i’d be a certified neruotransformational coach
and my friend
i didn’t have the capacity
i lacked the vision
to see that four years after i took this picture i’d be…
happier than i ever imagined was possible
fulfilled at a level i thought someone like me could never reach
so on fire
in love with me
in love with life
in love with humanity
deep in my trust and knowingness that i’ve got me
i knew people lived this way
i’d heard of ’em
i’d seen one or two
but i did not
SHE did not know it was possible for her
she had no clue what was coming for her
and friend, neither do you
my invitation is to get in the work on yourself
invest in your healing
THAT is what’s necessary
that’s the answer to your struggle
it may not be the answer you’re looking for
it may not be the answer you want to hear
but it is the answer
the REAL answer
there are no shortcuts
no quick fixes
no one-size-fits-all approach to your UNIQUE self
you’re not broken
you can heal
you can learn to love and trust yourself
it is possible for someone like you
but i don’t know any of us
who do it alone
if you want to talk about what that would or could look like, ask
if i’m not the one, find you someone
your future self will thank you