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
1. a person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others, especially considered as the object of introspection or reflexive action.
- an intense feeling of deep affection.
- a great interest and pleasure in something.
- a person or thing that one loves.
- feel a deep romantic or sexual attachment to (someone).
Self-love feels like one of the most talked about concepts, yet I believe most of us don’t DO self love.
While we are familiar with the notion, for so many of my sisters, self love is simply not an ACTIVE practice.
It sounds good in theory and we read books and burn sage and purchase crystals and get manicures, but when it comes to actually executing an intentional practice…
We say things like, “That’d be nice. I wish I had time for that luxury…”
The truth is, the active practice of self love demands us to shift our seat on our long task list. We have to move ourselves from dead last to first. Self love calls forth a bold declaration from the depths of our soul. An unapologetic battle cry…
“My needs are JUST as important as your needs.”
Because dead last? It is killing us.
We are quick to leap at the opportunity to serve and give and show up for another, but “GASP!” how dare you ask us to show up for ourselves? I mean, we’re soooooooo busy.
The habitual “I’m fine” slowly erodes at our self-esteem and self-worth as we seemingly, suddenly find ourselves angry and resentful waiting for others to give us what we haven’t given ourselves. We’re impatiently waiting for a person or an accomplishment to come along and validate us. And when they don’t? We become irrational and irritable because they haven’t given us what we haven’t asked for and yet believe we are owed.
But friend, it’s you. The love you’re seeking is within. There is NO external source that can love you enough… validate you enough… to satiate the hunger rumbling deep in your belly.
I snapped this picture in April 2018. I was leaving a week long transformational coaching training and it was during this week — just one year ago — that I fell in love with me. I released shame and guilt I’d been carrying for years. I stopped punishing myself and I chose love. Intentionally. I saw the wholeness of who I was and I loved her with the ferocious compassion of a mama bear protecting her cubs.
I didn’t know how
But you showed me
I didn’t know if I could
But you believe in me
I didn’t know I was worthy
But you reminded me
I didn’t know if I was enough
But you lovingly affirmed my truth
I forgot where to look
But then I saw your reflection
It is impossible to love others if we are not actively in love with ourself first. And, if you’re like most people, you are going to have to enlist support in cultivating new habits. We are simply not programmed to choose us.
In “Pussy – A Reclamation” Regena Thomashauer says, “It’s very difficult for us to say yes to our own pleasure. We have no experience prioritizing our own joy or making an investment in ourselves. But it is very easy to say yes to responsibility and obligation.”
This has to change.
It’s time to change.
And, I believe we are most effective in transforming our lives and habits when we have the support of tribe.
My new friend Sharon, the founder of GO LOVE YOURSELF– a self care and self love subscription box- shares the following on her website:
…as March’s featured author Kelly Corrigan notes, “you can’t really be loved if you can’t bear to be really known.”
And you deserve to take the time for yourself to know yourself, and love yourself, to know others, and to love others, and to be known by others, and to be loved by others. You don’t have to go it alone.
Sharon believes that self care is an action and self love is the result.
Awareness in and of itself doesn’t bring change. Motivation, while fun to experience, doesn’t bring change. What does bring change is ACTION. A commitment to DOING what needs to be done to change our lives and increase our self love and happiness.
As Sharon shares, “if you’re ready to be the change you want to see, take the actions you need to take, do the work, and connect with a group of women who are committed to truly living their best lives, we’re here for you.”
I couldn’t agree more.
Take the first action step in choosing YOU and get yourself the support you’re worthy of.
If you have any questions about the support Sharon provides, feel free to contact her directly through her website: https://www.thegoloveyourselfbox.com/about_us or if you have questions for me, send me an email at: email@example.com.
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
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
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 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.