the problem is, most of us ignore them because they are so accepted and expected that we don’t recognize them for the red flags they are
it’s called being an adultwe saypull it togetherput your big girl panties onjust do itwhat’s wrong with youwe askso-and-so has it worse than youyou’re so lazy
it’s not that badeveryone i know is friedi’m too busyi don’t have timetoday is the ONLY day to get things donelook at our to-do listhe needs methey need meshe needs meit’s finei’m finei’m fine
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
people frequently ask me this question:
how do i stop giving a sh*t about what other people think?
i kid. but not really. the truth is, anyone who isn’t a sociopath is going to care what other people think.
so, the question is flawed. i’ll explain.
i have a friend who acts without attachment to the opinions of others. i have always viewed her as a mythical creature possessing a skill i desperately desired. we were hanging out a few years ago when i asked her, “have you always been able to not care what other people think?” i can clearly remember how i felt when she replied, “i’ve always been this way. it’s just who i am.”
it was a gut punch.
dang. so, what? i’m destined to be stuck in this perpetual cycle of people pleasing for the rest of my life?
now, i’m not saying that answer wasn’t true for her. in fact, i believe it is and i believe it is for many. the problem was, i wasn’t the many.
and if you are not the many either, keep reading…
first, let’s change the question:
how can i care deeply, AND not give a sh*t?
friend, you can learn how to care deeply AND not give a sh*t. you can hear the opinions of others AND not be stopped by them. you can learn to process feedback as feedback AND not take it as a personal attack. you can learn to understand that other people are sharing their experiences of you AND not take on their experiences as your own truth.
now, this is an individual conversation filled with individual answers, but from my experience– both as a coach and as someone who lived most of her life addicted to attention and approval; most of us who are in the cycle of people-pleasing have equated our safety and stability with making others happy.
i will be okay if everyone else is okay.
the danger here is that when we outsource our stability, safety, and security; we are not in control of the one thing we have any control over: OURSELVES.
we become paranoid in our compulsive obsession of what other people are thinking, preoccupied with personal manipulation in an attempt to please them, and completely sacrificing self in the process.
you can care deeply and not be stopped by their opinions, but in order to do that, you have to be willing to confront and heal your relationship to your own judgments of you.
nothing anyone says about you has the power to shake you; unless there is a part of you that believes the things they are saying.
we have to first, heal our relationship with our reflection.
when there is no longer personal pain projected, we are much better equipped to take action on our goals without weaving our judgments into the conversation pretending they belong to others.
i’d love to hear your thoughts…
[ < numb > ]
we have become
a comfortably numb
zombie society of addicts
our cough medicine
has no discernment
so our soul sits
to our not feeling
i used to
i used to
it was not
helped my body
i thought i was
but i was only numb
just because you’ve been walking the same way on the same path for a looooonnnnnnnnng time, doesn’t mean that path is taking you where you want to go.
it’s possible, that it’s time to change directions.
i’ve been in this super reflective space all week and just an hour or so ago, i threw my 2018 planner in the trashcan. along with it, i threw my 2017 planner away. yup. i’d been holding onto that as well.
it’s funny how we keep things because we have convinced ourselves that holding onto something is easier than throwing it out.
even if it’s no longer fulfilling a purpose… no longer serving us.
change requires us to look at how we’re operating.
and after looking, we want to ask ourselves:
“is this serving me?”
“is this working?”
“is this going to take me to this next level?”
and if the answer is “NOPE”, then we owe it to ourselves to make a change.
so, i’ve been changing.
i’m replacing habits.
i’m creating new patterns.
i’m practicing new behaviors.
i’m crafting new routines.
i’m making new intentional choices.
here are a few of my personal reflections…
1. i have a tendency toward complication.
i’m human so i can (sometimes) make things harder– more complicated– than they need to be.
what i know for sure is that life can be complicated.
why on earth would i add to that complication by efforting so hard and making my solutions complicated???
would you like to know what slices through complication 100% of the time?
2. newton’s first law of motion.
an object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.
here’s what that law means to me:
i’ll continue doing things the same way i’ve always done them unless i choose to intentionally stop and make a change.
and the way i’ve always done things probably won’t work for me in creating this new life i long to be living; and it certainly won’t lead me down this new path i crave to travel.
what i’ve done so far has gotten me to where i am so far and if i want to go anywhere different than i am right now, things have to evolve.
i have to be willing to do something new.
i have to be willing to travel somewhere i’ve never traveled before.
i have to be willing to become the woman who will attract my desires.
and that’s much more about UNbecoming who i’m not than it is about BEcoming someone new.
3. my life is waiting for me.
and so is yours.
we’ve got to get in the game.
we’ve got to participate in the manifestation of our dreams.
wishing and hoping and praying and meditating are all amazing things to do.
AND, you’ve gotta back them up with action.
your life is waiting for YOU to participate.
your life is waiting for YOU to get off the sidelines.
your life is waiting for YOU to stop talking and start BEing.
your life is waiting for YOU to stop pretending.
your life is waiting for YOU to say YES.
your life is waiting for YOU to go all in.
your life is waiting for YOU.
you’re worth it.
you don’t have to know the details.
you don’t have to see the answers before you say yes.
you don’t have to see the path.
in fact, that request right there?
it is an impossible request.
and if that’s where you’re stuck, i get it. i spent much of my life there.
but the reality is, as my coach says, “there’s no familiar path to a new territory.”
you can learn to trust yourself to try.
i know you can because i did.
if you know you need support and you’re ready to take action, send me an e–mail. i’d love to set up a time to chat with you.
happy new year friend.
i don’t know
it’s not cute
but it is
that beast within
is becoming extinct
and she’s afraid
so she rages
in her attempts
i can smell her fear
i no longer
need the sanctuary of that old story
i no longer
need the high of your attention
i no longer
need the protection of my pretending
i don’t know
the truth is
i do know
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
step-up mic-up pen-up speak-up show-up
i’d been acting
like i’m not
she is begging
but that hit…
as it courses through my brain
settling in my veins
all the things
i’d been contemplating
tell me so
my attachment to the entrapment
of my addiction
seductive on the surface
is but an illusion
the comfort is deception
i no longer need
i see me
i am safe
i am safe
i got me
i am safe
inside my truth
i can expose myself
to see me
and your experience
has no power
to hurt me
full in me
is no longer
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.
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.
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:
You tell me
What you need
Me to be
Pretend to be
Scared to be
The real me
Under the mask
I spent my whole life constructing
The woman under
Cover of protection
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
They can’t know
They can’t see
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
From the inside out
You are love
She is waiting
You’ve got you
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.
i am a transformational geek. i get high on facilitating transformation in other humans and i’m addicted to transforming my own life. because of this, i welcome anything that “triggers” me.
if you’re unfamiliar with the term, what it means to me is anything that “sets me off”.
sets me off in anger, in upset, in irritation, etc..
the thing that comes first?
that is the trigger.
there are definitely positive triggers too.
things that can trigger laughter, joy, peace, etc…
so, this past weekend i’m at a live event to learn and grow in my business and on the second day, i get triggered.
i notice myself becoming concerned with how others are receiving me.
was that too much? maybe i shouldn’t have done that. maybe i shouldn’t say that. i probably shouldn’t post that. i need to calm down, reign it in, turn it down a little. it might be- i might be too much.
i woke up the morning of the second day really inspired. i wanted to share something i’d written in our private facebook group. instead of simply sharing my writing, i felt the pause of, “i don’t know… maybe it’s too much.”
so i didn’t share.
then about an hour later, i said, “you know what? this is valuable, i am proud of it, my heart says GO and i trust that.”
so i posted it.
about half-way through the day, my coach made a comment that flipped my “too much” trigger and i went online immediately and i took it down.
i put on my jacket, my body became tense and my legs started trembling. these are signals i am quite familiar with.
they are my body’s way of shouting, “houston. we have unexpressed emotions!”
we broke for lunch and i was deep in irritation. i chose to sit in the irritation and not come out for a couple of hours. as the evening progressed, things loosened up for me and i came back to myself.
the next day i asked for coaching support around the old story that got lit up.
you see, i want to be loved and i know i’m a lot to handle.
i’m a lot.
my personality is big.
my energy is big.
my truth is big.
i feel hard.
i love hard.
i am loud.
i look loud.
i talk loud.
i laugh loud.
i am a lot.
too much maybe…
here’s what i realized.
too much and not enough is the same story.
the SAME story!
and i’ve put that story to bed. a long time ago. it’s not my truth anymore. it’s an OLD story that i was stuck in. AND, the trigger brought up new awareness. for that, i am incredibly grateful.
here’s what i want you to know.
you are love.
you are light.
don’t ever be afraid to shine. the sun doesn’t care if she burns you.
people can stay indoors or slather on the spf.
their burn is actually not your responsibility.
but it can feel that way.
it felt that way to me.
but it’s NOT.
your obligation is to be unapologetically you.
that’s where your gifts are.
that’s where your truth is.
if you’re feeling like you can’t.
if you’re afraid who you are will hurt people.
if you’re stuck in “too much”.
if you believe you have to shrink to accommodate the comfort of others.
if you feel like you have to squash your voice or hold back i need you to know — those are lies.
everything that is not love is a lie.
and you my friend.
you are love.