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