You can unlearn their stories



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.

ME.

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.

Why am I so tired?

 

I don’t understand why I’m so tired…

For years, I needed to find a reason to explain the way I felt. ⁣
ESPECIALLY if the way I felt meant that I didn’t want to work. ⁣
🙋‍♀️ Do you relate?⁣
It was as though the fact that I was feeling tired wasn’t a good enough reason to rest, so I needed to search for some sort of justification. ⁣
I see this a lot with entrepreneurs. ⁣
✅ We have so many tasks⁣
✅ We have multiple things we want to accomplish⁣
✅ There are an unending amount of items to check-off our to do lists⁣
So if we feel *anything* other than work-driven, accomplish all the things, get it done right now, urgent energy…⁣
We feel less than⁣
Worthless
And in order to soothe the guilt that we feel for feeling tired, we search for the justification. ⁣
It is okay for us to rest if we’re sick. We can give ourselves permission to take time off if (and only if) we are ill. ⁣
But what if we ARE tired + we’re NOT sick? ⁣
What if we’re NOT running a fever?⁣
What if we don’t have the flu?⁣
➡️ What if we want to rest because we are exhausted — even if we aren’t able to justify why? ⁣
➡️ What if we felt like we had permission to listen to our bodies without explaining to ourselves or anybody else why we want to do that? ⁣
I know it’s not easy to do because I know that society teaches us something 𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺 different. ⁣
Society teaches us that rest is for weak people + reminds us that we can sleep when we’re dead and tells us to just push through and calls us forward to work harder + set bigger goals and GO GO GO GO! ⁣
And society teaches women that they can’t trust themselves or the needs of their bodies and that if we do, we need to have a justifiable explanation. ⁣
So of course we believe we have to explain how we feel. ⁣
👉🏻 There’s nothing wrong with you if you’re not able to rest “guilt-free”. ⁣
👉🏻 The guilt we experience is a normal, conditioned response. ⁣
👉🏻 Your response is a reaction to the programming of our don’t stop can’t stop culture. ⁣
And it’s part of the reason that many of the women I know and work with are…⁣
▪️On the verge of burnout⁣
▪️In desperate need of a break⁣
▪️Overworked⁣
▪️Struggling with autoimmune disease⁣
▪️Overwhelmed⁣
▪️Stressed out⁣
▪️Not asking for help⁣
▪️Telling themselves they can’t slow down⁣
▪️Convinced that nothing will get done if they don’t do it ⁣
▪️Dismissing their own dreams + desires⁣
☝🏻All of it makes sense. ⁣
Until we detox from the programming that has trained us to believe that our work equals our worth, it will not be okay for us to rest. ⁣
The switch is not easy (it took me years!) and for many of us with cultural, generational, and individual traumas, it’s more complex.⁣
BUT IT IS POSSIBLE.
You can begin the process by honoring your body‘s feelings without asking her to justify them.⁣
xo

Winning at all costs

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

AND

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⁣
I promise⁣

xx

surrender

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

Insignificant: too small or unimportant to be worth consideration

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

Here’s what I did:

1.  I admitted what was happening.

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

2.  I reached out for help.

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

3.  I journaled.

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

4.  I unplugged.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

a glimpse : my hate/love relationship with my body and working out

At the beginning of this month, I made a commitment to begin working out.
Again.
Up until March 2, I had been doing yoga {inconsistently}, but I had stopped doing cardio and lifting weights.
Part of this was intentional and part of it seemed to slip away without my noticing.

Has this ever happened to you?
One day you wake up and you realize you’re no longer doing something you used to do?
It’s like, “Wait… When did that stop????”

You may or may not know this, but I used to be someone who worked out.
A lot.
Aggressively.
In fact, in another life, I taught classes at a women’s gym and I dabbled in personal training.
And I was intense.
I taught kickboxing classes and hiphop and strength training and I pushed myself and others.
HARD.
People loved it and I loved seeing their results.
I watched and encouraged women to grow and embrace their inner strength.
A strength that oftentimes, they had forgotten was inside of them.

However, it wasn’t pure.
You see, my personal reasons for working out were rooted in a very dark place.
In one breath, I was encouraging and speaking love into other women and using the same eyes and mouth, I would go home and inspect, pick apart, and criticize my own body in the mirror.
I was constantly searching for areas that needed to be “fixed” or “worked on” or “improved”.

Even after I stopped teaching, my reasons for going to the gym still stemmed from this unhealthy place.  If I didn’t workout for a few days, I would freak out fearing that… that I was getting fat or gaining weight or that my round face had become even more round.  I just knew that my belly was pooching out and that my arms and butt had suddenly become flabby.

Years later, as I began digging more deeply into my own personal development, I realized and came face to face with a harsh reality.
My motivation for working out was rooted in hate.
I hated my body and I felt the need to “whip it” into shape.
I was working out from a place of fear.
Fear of getting “fat”, fear of gaining any weight, fear of what you {me} might say if my stomach wasn’t flat and my arms weren’t ripped.

When I had this realization at the end of 2016 and began the journey of deepening my own self-love, I went to the opposite extreme.  I didn’t want to do anything that didn’t feel good to my body.  I revisited yoga, but I avoided any intense workout.  I didn’t want to push my body at all.  HIIT workouts and bootcamps terrified me and I hid from them.

All I wanted was to love my body and I didn’t know how to do that while working out the way I used to.  And, if I’m honest, there was a part of me that was afraid if I went “there” in the gym, I would go back “there” mentally and I was not going to let that happen.

The truth was, I didn’t trust myself.

This pattern continued for awhile and then one day last year, I allowed myself to get reacquainted with cardio and weights.  I found ways to move that felt really good to me.  I didn’t work out all the time, but I was working out and I was feeling pretty awesome.

But, at the end of last year, I fell ill.  And then came the holidays.  In December we bought our first home, in January and early February I was out of town for 10 days, and then we packed up our apartment and moved into our home.  All semblance of routine was lost to me and so were my workouts.

 I woke up at the beginning of this month and realized that I had literally stopped working out.
Like, I was not doing it.
At all.
I didn’t give the new realization a ton of attention.  I simply had the awareness, took ownership in accepting it for what it was, and took action to change.

  1. I got myself some accountability {the closest thing you can get to a “secret sauce” to success} around working out.
  2. I forced my ego to start small by committing to 3 workouts a week.
  3. I gave myself permission to have a do-over.

I have worked out 3 times a week every week this month and I’m feeling terrific!  I’m exploring new workouts like barre and pilates and I’m noticing what I enjoy and what I don’t.  I’m finding what feels good to me and it’s actually been a lot of fun!


But.  It has not been easy.


Despite muscle memory, if you haven’t worked out in awhile, you simply cannot just jump back in where you left off.  Expecting that you “should” be able to… well, that can lead to disappointment and frustration.  You might start to feel like you suck or even begin to beat yourself up for what you feel you’ve “lost”.  Please don’t do this.  It will serve ONLY to delay future progress.


The reality is, you’ve got to build momentum and strength and recondition your muscles.

This process will take time

Consistent effort.

Practice.


In fact, progress in any area of your life will follow a similar pattern.

MASSIVE results typically take time.

Consistent effort.

Practice.


HOWEVER.

Remember, recognize, and celebrate that you ARE making progress.

Small steps are still steps.


Here’s the truth:

You can make a decision to change and then you will spend every day moving forward actually changing.

Sometimes you will have to modify things because you simply don’t have the energy to go “full-out”.

That’s okay.

What’s important is that you keep showing up.

Keep giving your very best.

But recognize that “your very best” is relative and “your very best” may look different day to day or moment to moment.


Now?

I workout because I love the energy I create and feel.

I love knowing that I am doing something that is nourishing my physical self.

I love feeling strong.

I love how I feel when I’m done.


You wanna know what else?

My body has changed.

But so has my attitude about it.

I genuinely love what I see when I look in the mirror.

I am in love with all of my perfect imperfections.


I want to encourage you to check your “come from” the next time you head to the gym or to a class or head into the room where you do your at home workout practice.

Why are you there?

Why did you show up today?

Do you love what you’re doing?

If not, why are you still doing it?

Is it necessary to do something you hate?

How can you move your body in a way that feels good to you?

Or, are you not working out at all right now?  Why not?


Or, perhaps you are already coming from a place of love.  Of joy and celebration for your strong and exquisite body.

No matter your “come from”, awareness is the first step.

Comment below.

I would love to hear from you, celebrate in your most precious journey, and offer any support.

 

xo,

Michelle